Woodworker loses three fingers whilst using table saw

Woodworker loses three fingers whilst using table saw

A woodworker working on a table saw has unfortunately lost three fingers in a terrible accident that could have been prevented if the correct measures had been taken.

The man had been instructed by his supervisor to use the table saw to cut boards that were due to be used to make bird tables. His employer had failed to train him correctly on the safe systems for making this particular product according to the HSE [1]. On top of this, the employee was supposed be supervised during operational periods of the saw and it has also come to light that the saw was not set up effectively.

At a hearing, the man’s employer pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at work act and was subsequently fined £8,000 and costs amounting to over £1,000.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Newton commented:

“This was an unfortunate incident that could have been avoided if the company had effectively supervised workers using dangerous machinery.

“The woodwork industry has a high accident rate, most of which are caused by contact with moving machinery. Employers need to ensure that machines are effectively guarded and workers are adequately trained and supervised.”

Woodwork and joinery is an extremely testing environment for health and safety but there are many preventative measures and guidance that should be followed to ensure all staff are not put at risk. This particular incident highlights the importance of supervision and correct calibration of equipment, before and after use. Large machinery can produce dangerous levels of noise leading to occupational hearing loss or tinnitus if ear defenders are not enforced and wood dust along with other airborne particles can lead respiratory problems later in life.

Roberts Jackson Solicitors speak to various types of people working in the industry with conditions and injuries caused by work every week. We can offer them free legal advice and bring a claim for compensation on their behalf if these conditions are through no fault of the employee. If you or anyone else you know works in the wood industry and would like some advice for any injury or illness caused by their work, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the claim form on the right of this page or by calling our Freephone number on 0800 001 4496.

[1] Woodwork company fined after worker lost fingers http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/woodwork-company-fined-after-worker-lost-fingers/

[2] Compensation for Joiners & Woodworkers https://www.robertsjackson.co.uk/compensation-joiners/