The 27-year-old lost three fingers on his left hand, down to the second knuckle, while working at Frank Hill Ltd on the Scot Lane Industrial Estate in Blackrod. The firm was prosecuted after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no guard on the saw and the worker had not received training on how to use it.
Manchester Crown Court heard the worker, who has asked not to be named, had been holding a large piece of wood while his colleague cut through it, when his hand caught on the rotating blade on 22 December 2010.
When an HSE inspector visited the site, she immediately issued two Prohibition Notices preventing that saw and another similar saw from being used until guards had been put in place.
Frank Hill Ltd, which formerly traded as IPC Services, was found guilty of two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 on following a trial at Trafford Magistrates Court on 16 December 2012.
The company went into liquidation on 28 July 2011 and was fined £2 with no costs during a sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court on 30 April 2012.
Speaking after the hearing, Sarah Taylor, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:
“Sadly, incidents like this are still all too common in the manufacturing industry. We will continue to prosecute firms that put the safety of their staff at risk.
“Two basic health and safety errors by Frank Hill Ltd led to a young factory worker losing three fingers.
“The company should have ensured guards were in place on all its circular saws, and shouldn’t have allowed any employees to work on the machines without training.”
On average, 31 workers in the manufacturing industry are killed while at work every year, and there are more than 4,500 major injuries. Information of working safety with machinery is available at www.hse.gov.uk/manufacturing.
Notes to Editors
1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
2. Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken.”
3. Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective: to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
4. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.
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