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Timber frame company fined after worker saws off thumb

A timber frame company has been hit with over £10,000 of fines and costs after an employee sawed off his own thumb.

Kestrel Timber Frame was handed £6,700 in fines and ordered to pay costs of £4,117 following the incident in which a 20 year old production operative lost his thumb.

The operative, who did not wish to be named, was using a table mounted circular saw when his hand was caught in the blade.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecution, told Spalding Magistrates it had become standard practice by employees to remove the guard as the height adjustment mechanism on the saw was broken.

In addition, the table saw was not big enough to adequately support the foam being cut, therefore it was necessary for him to support the foam with his hands rather than using a push-stick.

The employee was off work for seven weeks after the 11 May 2010 incident but has since returned to his job.

HSE inspector Emma Madeley said:  “The company neglected its legal duty to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employees.

“The injured man’s employers 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.”

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