Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard this week how, on 29th March 2016, an employee of Laminated Products Limited was working alongside colleagues using a beam saw to cut sheets of MDF.
He reached into a hole in the fixed guarding to clear waste offcuts – he believed it was a viewing hole – and his fingers became trapped under a drive chain and sprocket. As he pulled his hand out, three fingers were severed.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that, while suitable guarding was in place on other areas of the machine, the company had failed to identify the hazard posed by the open hole where access to the dangerous moving parts was possible.
Laminated Products Limited of Hunt Street, Whitwood Mere, Castleford was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations (Puwer) 1998. It was fined £45,225 and ordered to pay costs of £1,612.
HSE inspector Louise Redgrove said after the hearing: “A worker was left with permanent injuries as a result of this incident – injuries which could have very easily been avoided had the hole been covered with a fixed plate.”