A steel products manufacturer has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive over serious safety failings after a teenaged worker sustained injuries to his hand on a saw blade.
The 17 year old worker, who has chosen to remain unnamed, severed his thumb and three of his fingers on his left hand as a result of the incident which took place on 1 June 2011 at JSF Stainless Ltd.
On 18 April 2013, Walsall Magistrates’ Court was told that the teenager was required to clean a saw by the director of the company Mr Richard Lancaster. The saw was used for cutting steel and its blades were still moving when the teenager was asked to complete the job.
Since he had not used the machine previously, he didn’t know how to stop the moving blade. He tried to clean the saw and as he was doing this, his left hand became caught in the saw.
His thumb and three fingers were severed and part of the little finger was cut off.
So far, the teenaged worker has undergone nine operations. Surgeons were able to reattach his middle and ring finger and his index finger was reattached as his thumb. They were also able to repair his little finger. He is employed by another company now.
An investigation carried out by the HSE into the incident revealed that the company should not have asked the worker to clean the equipment while it was still running. In addition, he should have been given adequate training on how to carry out the cleaning job and he should have been adequately supervised.
JSF Stainless Ltd admitted to breaching a single section of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was ordered to pay a fine of £6,000 in addition to £13,000 in costs.
The director of the Company Mr Lancaster pleaded not guilty to breaching the above section of the Health and Safety at Work Act. He was ordered to pay a fine of £2,000 in addition to £2,630 in costs.