An Environment Agency employee suffered an injury at work when he caught his finger on a circular saw.
The 48-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, needed the finger amputated following the horrific work accident, which happened because the tool he was using did not have its safety guard in place.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that using this particular type of saw without its guard had become common practice for employees at the Bridge End Depot in Levens, near Kendal, after staff had complained it was too hard to cut large pieces of wood when it was in position.
Accident at work compensation
Accident Advice Helpline can provide circular saw injury advice if you have suffered a similar work injury. You may be due accident at work compensation.
A £5,000 fine was handed to the Environment Agency, which was also ordered to pay £1,364 in prosecution costs at Kendal Magistrates’ Court.
It pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations by allowing access to parts of machinery that posed a threat to its workers.
No risk assessment
Magistrates were told how the employee was using the tool on a woodworking machine when the incident happened.
The court heard that there had been no risk assessment conducted prior to the work taking place. A lack of appropriate supervision for the job meant that managers did not know workers were using the saw without the safety guard.
Following the accident, the organisation has reviewed its procedures and now doesn’t use the saw at the site any more.
Could have been avoided
HSE inspector Anthony Banks says the whole incident could have been avoided if a risk assessment of the work had been carried out.
He says a work accident became inevitable after the practice of using the circular saw without its guard became standard procedure at the site.
Mr Banks adds that the organisation should have dispensed with the use of the saw immediately after it decided it was not suitable for its staff.