Stonecutter strips worker’s hand

A Wiltshire company has been fined and ordered to pay costs today after poor safety checks on a piece of heavy machinery led to one of its employees having the skin, muscles and tendons stripped from the back of his hand.

In the same case, a Cornish company that imported the tool was found liable of breaching the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and ordered to pay a separate fine and costs.

Richard Hale, 52, of Easterton, Wilts, was cleaning the stonecutter when the glove on his left hand was caught and dragged by the corner of a moving blade motor carriage into the narrow gap between that and a support frame.

Emergency services called out

The emergency services were called as soon as possible, but Mr Hale’s hand was trapped agonisingly in the machine for around an hour until they were able to release him.

He was later admitted to hospital where surgeons saved much of his hand, except some of the muscles and tendons from the back.

Because the surgery was only partially successful, Mr Hale still suffers with his hand, although he has since been able to return to work.

Health and Safety Executive findings

The Health and Safety Executive found that Mr Hale’s employers, Windsmere Stone and Granite Ltd, of Bath Road, Sells Green, Melksham, Wiltshire, had not checked to ensure the machine was safe.

The firms was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £3,337 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Waters Group Ltd, of Liskeard Business Park, Quimperle Way, Liskeard, Cornwall, was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,020 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulation.

Source: HSE


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