A firm has been fined for safety failings after an employee suffered a serious hand injury while cutting logs at a Northumberland sawmill.
The 55-year-old man had to have two of his fingers partially amputated after catching his hand on an unguarded saw blade, Berwick Magistrates’ Court heard.
His employer, A & J Scott Ltd, of Wooperton, Alnwick, was fined £4,000 with £8,911.85 costs after admitting it breached the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.
Magistrates heard that the accident at work, which was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), happened at Station Sawmills in Wooperton in June 2012.
The man, who lives in Amble, had been cutting logs with an industrial-sized rig saw when a piece of wood got caught on the blade. Leaving the machine running he had then gone to clear the jam when his right hand came into contact with the moving blade, the HSE told the court.
Magistrates heard that an HSE investigation into the incident found that the firm had no safety guards to stop employees getting too near to the machine’s dangerous parts.
Injuries ‘too common’
Following the court case HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall said the accident could have been “easily prevented” had the firm provided guards to prevent contact with the saw’s moving blade.
He added: “By failing to introduce simple precautions a worker suffered painful and lasting injuries.
“These types of injury are all too common in the woodworking sector and the sawmill industry in particular has a major injury rate which is over two and a half times that of general manufacturing.”
Source: BBC News