Construction company fined after worker seriously injured by a mitre saw

A construction company has been fined after a worker’s hand was severed by an inadequately guarded mitre saw on a construction site in Bolney, Sussex.

Lewes Magistrates’ Court heard that, on the 9 January 2019, a worker installing skirting board in a new build house was using a powered mitre saw to cut material to length. The guard of the saw had been propped up, meaning the full front of the sawblade was exposed. During the works, the mitre saw fell forward on to a worker’s right-hand causing part of their hand to be severed. This was re-attached in surgery, although he has not regained full use of it.

An investigation by the Health and Safety (HSE), found that there was a systematic failure to ensure the mitre saw was properly guarded, and there was insufficient supervision on site.

Borrowdale Construction Homes Limited of Lancaster House Sopwith Crescent, Hurricane Way Wickford, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. They were fined £21,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,567.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Leah Sullivan said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply ensuring that the correct control measures were in place and that safe working practices were being followed.

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

Unguarded mitre saw


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. hse.gov.uk
2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk