A Walthamstow based window company has been successfully prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee suffered significant hand injuries.
The firm was fined £15,000 with £913 in costs after admitting breaches of both the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The District Judge also ordered the Company to pay the injured man £5,000 in compensation.
The HSE investigation revealed that an employee was using a power saw when the blade guard rose, trapped his fingers and dragged them into the rotating blade.
The court heard that surgeons were able to reattach his thumb and two fingers but his middle finger had to be amputated. The worker still has problems performing everyday tasks.
The HSE reported that the windows firm did not ensure the equipment was used correctly. Poor practices, including switching off the air supply when cutting small pieces of uPVC, was recognised as being dangerous but nothing was done to prevent this.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Nick Wright said: “This young worker suffered a serious life-changing injury that has had a very damaging impact on him and his family.”
““All firms must ensure workers understand the risks within their environment and the measures to control them. And equipment should only be used for tasks it is suitable for.”