Hand injury accident was preventable says HSE

Hand injury to lead to damages claim 2767

Compensation could be sought by a man who lost part of his finger during an accident at work.

Michael Page had the top of the little finger on his left hand severed when it came into contact with machinery he was operating as part of his duties at High Peak-based manufacturing firm the Richmond Cabinet Company in October 2011.

At the time of this accident, Mr Page was using a saw to cut some material but an investigation carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) established that he had not received training on how to use the equipment or been provided with suitable tools to conduct the task safely.

In addition, the professional had to push the wood he was cutting through the saw by hand, as opposed to using a push-stick; meaning he was in danger of injuring himself.

During a case heard at High Peak Magistrates' Court, it also emerged that nobody at the place of work was responsible for the supervising the use of the machine, even though it was used by members of staff on a daily basis.

The HSE work accident inspector tasked with investigating this also found that the exhaust ventilation system installed above the saw was unsuitable, while dust expulsions from another machine on the premises were being controlled only by towels that had been wrapped around the top of the equipment.

Richmond Cabinet Company subsequently admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 for its negligence.

Stuart Parry, inspector at the HSE, said that while the loss of fingers while using circular saws is "all too common", Mr Page's injuries could have been prevented had he been trained and provided with the equipment he needed.

"The company should also have done more to prevent workers breathing in wood dust, which can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses," he added.

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801573037-ADNFCR