Worker's fingertips severed by unguarded bandsaw costs Derby firm £20,000

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Following an HSE investigation into how a man's fingertips were severed at work, an engineering firm has been heavily fined for safety breaches.

The man, had 2 fingertips severed as he cleaned swarf from an unguarded bandsaw at his place of work.

The 52 year-old, from Darley Dale, was forced to take a week off work following the incident in May 2011.

Chesterfield Magistrates' Court was told that the machinery the worker was using was in automatic mode when the blade moved down towards the bed of the saw. The employee's hand was dragged into the saw when his glove was snagged.

An inquiry by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) determined that, before cleaning, electric power to the saw was still on. The HSE also found that the saw's blade had never been fitted with a guard.

HSE Inspector Berian Price said: "This [case] involved a saw with a continuous moving blade. It caught the glove and brought his fingers into contact with the saw blade which was not guarded."

Accused of failing to prevent access to dangerous parts of a machine, the firm pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £20,000 with costs of £5,894.

Mr Price noted that, while 4 such saws had been operated by the firm over a period of some 20 years, none had been properly fitted with guarding to protect operators.

"The company had failed to recognise the risk this posed," Mr Price said. "The machines have now been properly guarded but it is unfortunate a man had to suffer a painful injury before this happened."



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