Friday 12 July 2013

Worker loses fingers in poorly guarded saw

Two businesses have been prosecuted for safety failings after an employee's hand was caught in a saw, resulting in debilitating injuries.
The circumstances were:
  • Envirowales Ltd., were responsible for the day-to-day running of the Jamestown Industries lead recycling plant in Ebbw Vale
  • An employee of Envirowales Ltd., was operating a saw to cut lengths of lead into smaller, more manageable pieces on 21 February 2012.
  • The guarding on the saw was not effective and the companies failed to inform employees of the risks from the saw when retracted.
  • The employee was not supervised at the time of the incident and there was no experienced operator working with him. 
  • Training had been undertaken but it was not adequate to ensure that all employees understood the risks in place when the saw was retracted, or the procedure for removing material that had become jammed in the saw.
  • He tried to dislodge a piece of lead which had become jammed, believing the saw blade was fully retracted and out of reach.
  • However, his right hand made contact with the blade, severing his third finger. 
  • He was taken to Morriston hospital, where he had his finger amputated above the second knuckle. The saw had also gone through the tendons and artery of his middle finger.

Envirowales Ltd and Jamestown Industries Ltd  were fined  £12,600  (inc. costs) to be split equally between Envirowales and Jamestown.
The HSE Inspector  said:
"This accident was foreseeable and both companies have fallen woefully short of the standard required by law. They both failed in their roles to protect workers by not properly guarding this machine. The injured employee should never have been placed in the position he was, and has suffered a debilitating injury as a result. Employers must fully assess the dangers associated with their work and put in place control measures. In this case, the risks associated with saws are well known, and should have been adequately controlled."

No comments:

Post a Comment