Precision tool manufacturer fined after worker severs finger

L.S. Starrett Company Limited, a precision tool manufacturer, has been fined after an employee’s index finger was severed and his thumb deeply lacerated in an incident involving a radial arm drilling machine.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard that on 2 October 2018, the hole saw operator was using a radial arm drilling machine when his glove became entangled, resulting in the  injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued two improvement notices to the company following the incident for failing to provide employees with appropriate training on the use of the radial arm drill and failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the drill. This should have included informing employees not to wear gloves when using this type of machinery.

L.S. Starrett Company Limited of Oxnam Road, Jedburgh, Scotland pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kim Ross commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out the correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at
  4. For further guidance on Health and Safety in engineering workshops, please go to: Health and safety in engineering workshops – HSG129 (