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Fri September 17 2021

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Untrained youngster saws through fingers

11 Oct 18 Magistrates have ordered a builder from Cornwall to pay out nearly £10,000 after an employee lost fingers to a handheld circular saw

Bodmin Magistrates’ Court heard how David Avent, trading as David Avent Building Services, was refurbishing a barn in Callington in February 2017. On 7th February a young worker, just turned 17, was using a circular saw to cut wooden flooring sheets when the blade made contact with his hand. It cut right through his index finger, three quarters through his middle finger and half way through his ring finger.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that David Avent had no record of any information, instruction and training that he had provided to his employee in the safe use of the circular saw nor had he ensured that safe working practices were followed when cutting the flooring sheet.

The investigation also found that circular saw blade had not been properly adjusted for the size of material being cut at the time of the incident and the flooring sheet was not appropriately supported while being cut.

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David Avent of Callington, Cornwall pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(4) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. He was been fined £1,120 and ordered to pay costs of £8,489.48.

HSE inspector Jo-Anne Michael said after the hearing: “This injury was easily preventable and the risk associated with the task should have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from contact with dangerous parts of machinery to ensure that the risks are given careful attention to ensure they are properly controlled.”

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