An investigation by the Health & Safety (HSE) found that there was a systematic failure to ensure the mitre saw was properly guarded, and there was insufficient supervision on the site.
Lewes Magistrates’ Court heard that, on the 9th January 2019, a worker installing skirting board in a new build house in Bolney, Sussex was using a powered mitre saw to cut material to length.
The guard of the saw had been propped up, meaning the full front of the sawblade was exposed. During the works, the mitre saw fell forward on to a worker’s right-hand causing part of his hand to be severed. It was re-attached in surgery but he has not regained full use of it.
Borrowdale Construction Homes Limited of Lancaster House, Sopwith Crescent, Wickford, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. It was fined £21,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,567.
HSE inspector Leah Sullivan said after the hearing: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply ensuring that the correct control measures were in place and that safe working practices were being followed.”