On 11th May 2010, a worker at Lincolnshire firm Kestrel Timber Frame severed his thumb whilst using a circular saw. Following an HSE investigation, the company has been fined £6,700 plus £4,117 costs by Spalding Magistrates’ Court.
The production operative – a 20-year-old man, lost part of his left thumb whilst using a table-mounted circular saw to cut insulation foam.
The court heard that workers at the Market Deeping site routinely removed the guard on the saw as the height adjustment mechanism was damaged. Furthermore, the saw was too small to properly support the foam that was being cut, which led the injured worker to support the foam with his hands.
He was off work for 7 weeks after the incident, but has since returned to work at Kestrel Timber Frame.
Emma Madeley, an inspector at the HSE, said the company had not fulfilled its legal obligation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure employees are safe. She added that they had “failed to provide equipment which would allow the job to be done safely and, as a result, a young employee suffered serious injury in a completely preventable incident.”
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section (2)1 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Karl Hick, managing director at parent company Larkfleet Group, described the incident as “regrettable” and said it represented “a departure from our usual high standards of health and safety.” He added that systems have been put in place at Kestrel Timber Frame to avoid any repeat of this workplace accident.