Young Person Loses Fingers Using Saw

A sole trader builder from Cornwall has been sentenced after one of his employees sustained serious, life-changing hand injuries whilst operating a handheld circular saw in February 2017.

Bodmin Magistrates heard how the company was undertaking a barn refurbishment when the 17 year-old workman was injured whilst using the saw to cut wooden flooring sheets.

The blade came into contact with his hand and cut fully through his index finger, three quarters through his middle finger and half way through his ring finger.

Provision of training and information could not be proved plus unsafe working practices

HSE investigators found no record of any information, instruction and training provided to the employee in the safe use of the circular saw. Safe working practices were not followed when cutting the flooring sheet.

In addition, the saw blade had not been properly adjusted for the size of material being cut at the time of the incident and the flooring sheet was not appropriately supported during the operation.

David Avent Building Services (David Avent T/A) – of Callington, Cornwall pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He has been fined £1,120 and ordered to pay costs of £8489.48.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Dr Jo-Anne Michael said, “This injury was easily preventable and the risk associated with the task should have been identified.  Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from contact with dangerous parts of machinery to ensure that the risks are given careful attention to ensure they are properly controlled.”