July 25, 2019

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In Court

Worker’s hand severely injured by machinery

A garden shed manufacturer has been fined after an accident at its site in Gateshead resulted in an employee losing the tip of his right thumb and damaging tendons in his right hand.

The employee of David Bell, who trades as Leam Lane Garden Sheds, was using a rip saw to cut the apex of a shed. The riving knife of the rip saw was missing and during this process the employee’s hand came into contact with the blade of the saw resulting in him losing the tip of his right thumb and damaging tendons in his index and middle finger on his right hand.

Investigating, the HSE found the employer:

  • had not isolated the saw to prevent it from being used until it had been repaired
  • failed to ensure the employee had received suitable and sufficient training in the use of woodworking machinery.

David Bell, trading as Leam Lane Garden Sheds, of Salt Meadows Road, Gateshead pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £925.90.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Victoria Crofton said: “Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise risk from woodworking machinery, and provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers. They must also ensure any defective equipment cannot be used. Had this been done this worker would not have suffered these serious injuries.”

Watch: the most read fines and prosecution stories in June 2019…

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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