Sawmill fined over horror accident

A sawmill in Elgin has been fined after a young worker suffered horrific injuries to his arm when it was pulled into unguarded machinery.

Damian Gawlowski, 20, was operating a device used to cut large pieces of timber at Tennants Limited’s Brumley Brae premises when the incident took place on 26 September 2011.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard how his arm was drawn into the machine and cut in half lengthways up to the elbow as he tried to feed some wood through the cutter.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that, despite the risks being widely known in the woodworking industry, the drive wheels and chain drive were unguarded and the saw-blade guard was not positioned correctly.

Mr Gawlowski, from Poland, had also not received any formal training on the machine and was left unsupervised, even though he was inexperienced.

Tennants (Elgin) Limited, of South Street, Elgin, was fined £30,000 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.


Mr Gawlowski has been left permanently scarred and requires ongoing pain relief as a result of the accident.

He sustained significant injuries and needed 16 operations to try and repair ligament, muscle and nerve damage – although he lost one finger entirely and part of another finger.

It is unlikely that he will be able to return to work for a considerable length of time as he struggles to use his right hand.

Accident Advice Helpline can help with personal injury claims, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.

A serious arm injury can have major implications on your ability to work, so making a claim can be a crucial step in securing financial security.

In the event of amputation a person is entitled to more compensation, so be sure to find out how much you could claim.

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