Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that employees of Tiles & Tops Limited of Croydon had been exposed to the risk of amputation because the blade of an Elenis automatic bridge saw was not properly guarded. An inspector from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) served an improvement notice requiring the saw to be guarded after she visited the company in August 2017.
At a follow-up visit in November 2017 temporary fencing was seen to have been moved to one side and was no longer offering any protection to people using the saw.
Tiles & Tops had previously been prosecuted in 2016 by the HSE for failing to control its stone dust.
Tiles & Tops Limited pleaded guilty to breaching an improvement notice citing a contravention of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,260 and a victim surcharge of £170.
HSE inspector Sarah Whittle said after the case: “In this case, the company completely failed to grasp the importance of installing and maintaining basic but essential guards to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery.
“Despite being given several weeks to rectify the situation, the temporary fencing put in place by the company was clearly inadequate.
"Companies should be aware that HSE may bring prosecutions where duty holders continually fail to address risks in the workplace or where they fail to respond to enforcement notices.”