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Three companies fined for safety failings arising from two accidents

Date:
14 April 2016

Two incidents at the Haverhill site of Jan Cavelle Furniture Company have led to three companies being fined for health and safety failings.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how in the first instance an employee of the company sustained serious injuries when operating a biscuit cutter and the rotating blade made contact with his hand, cutting his thumb to the bone.

The second incident occurred when an employee sustained injury to his hand whilst using the cutter of an overhead router and received serious lacerations and crush injuries to his right index finger.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incidents which occurred on 28 February 2014 and 2 June 2014 found that both incidents occurred due to the operators adopting unsafe working practices. This was due to a lack of training, inadequate supervision and insufficient and unsuitable risk assessments.

In 2013, Worksafe Training & Consultancy Ltd had been commissioned by Jan Cavelle Furniture Company Ltd to review all risk assessments and work procedures and to provide updated risk assessments and procedures where required.

This consultancy subsequently sub-contracted this work to Tony Baker of Leading Health & Safety Consultants Ltd who provided risk assessments and recommendations relevant to both the biscuit cutter and the overhead router. The risk assessments and procedures provided by Mr Baker were neither suitable nor sufficient to control risks arising from the operation of these two machines.

Jan Cavelle Furniture Company Limited, of Rookwood Way, Haverhill, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £18,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £4,000.

Workplace Training and Consultancy Limited, St Andrews Street South, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, were found guilty at trial to breaching two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £22,500 and was ordered to pay costs of £22,500.

Leading Health and Safety Consultants Limited, of Chaplin Walk, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to breaching two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £5,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

For further information on equipment and machinery visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/planning-organising-lifting-operations.htm

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/  and guidance at
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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