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Woodwork company fined after worker lost fingers

Date:
3 August 2015

A Gloucestershire-based woodwork firm was fined after a worker lost three fingers whilst using a table saw.

Seven Valley Woodworks Limited table saw

Stroud Magistrates Court heard that on the 22 September 2014 agency worker, Egidijus Norkus, 44, was instructed to use the table saw by his supervisor to cut tongue and grove boards being used to make bird table bases. Mr Norkus injured his left hand on the table saw, losing the top of his middle, ring and little fingers.

The investigation, carried out by the Health and Safety Executive, found that Severn Valley Woodworks Limited had not trained Mr Norkus in a safe system of work for making the products, failed to supervise the work and found that the table saw was not effectively set up.

Severn Valley Woodworks Limited was fined £8,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was ordered to pay £1,142 in costs.

 After the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Newton commented:

“This was an unfortunate incident that could have been avoided if the company had effectively supervised workers using dangerous machinery.

“The woodwork industry has a high accident rate, most of which are caused by contact with moving machinery. Employers need to ensure that machines are effectively guarded and workers are adequately trained and supervised.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. For more information about health and safety in woodworking see http://www.hse.gov.uk/woodworking/

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