Company fined after employee injures finger in saw incident

An export services company has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries when his finger came into contact with a saw blade.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how on 16 September 2019, the employee’s left index finger was partially severed when it came into contact with the unguarded part of the radial arm saw blade, he was using to cut wooden batons.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Neil Smith (Export Services) Limited had failed to maintain the adjustable front guard on their radial arm saw. The wing nuts were broken, rendering the guard inoperable.

Neil Smith (Export Services) Limited, with head offices based at Hurricane Way, Norwich pleaded guilty to breaching Section 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was been fined £21,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,954

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Lydia Edwards said: “The incident could have been easily avoided had the company repaired the guard as soon as it became inoperable. Employers must ensure that machinery guarding is kept in good working order.”


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