A horrific workplace accident in Wales has resulted in two companies being prosecuted over safety breaches.
A 33-year-old man injured at work had his hand caught in a saw, resulting in debilitating injuries.
Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court heard the prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Thursday July 11.
The unnamed man from Nantyglo was operating a saw to cut lengths of lead into smaller, more manageable segments at the Jamestown Industries lead recycling plant in Ebbw Vale on February 21 last year.
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The court heard that the man, an employee of Hertfordshire-based Envirowales, the firm responsible for the day-to-day running of Jamestown Industries, attempted to dislodge a piece of lead which had become jammed.
He believed the saw blade was fully retracted and out of reach. But his right hand made contact with the blade, cutting off his third finger. The employee went back to work four months later but still has problems with gripping.
Firms ‘fell short’ of safety standards
An HSE investigation into the accident at work found that safety breaches included leaving the employee unsupervised, with no experienced operator working with him.
Envirowales Ltd of St Albans and Jamestown Industries Ltd of Barnsley both pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The businesses were fined £4,000 in total and ordered to pay costs of £8,600 – both to be divided equally between them.
The HSE said this workplace accident showed that both companies fell “woefully short” of legal safety standards.
Date Published: July 16, 2013
Author: David Brown