Information Bite 200 Garden Shed manufacturer fined after Employee injures hand

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.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that on 26th July 2017 the employee 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.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the employer had not isolated the saw to prevent it from being used until it had been repaired.

The employer also failed to ensure the employee had received suitable and sufficient training in the use of woodworking machinery.

The employer 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.

Section 2(1) of the Act states that: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

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.”