Bourne firm fined after worker severs thumb

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A TIMBER company has been fined £6,700 and ordered to pay £4,117 in costs after a worker severed part of his thumb while using a circular saw.

A 20-year-old production operative severed part of his left thumb at Kestrel Timber Frame in Northfield Road, Market Deeping, while cutting insulation foam in May last year.

The Health and Safety Executive, prosecuting, told Spalding magistrates on Wednesday that the employee was using a table-mounted circular saw when his hand was caught in the blade.

The executive told the court 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.

Kestrel Timber Frame, which is part of the Larkfleet Group in Bourne, pleaded guilty to all charges.

The employee was off work for seven weeks but has since returned to his job.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive 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.”

Managing director of Larkfleet Group Karl Hick said: “This was a regrettable incident and is a departure from our usual high standards of health and safety. The employee in question is now back at work at Kestrel Timber Frame and systems are in place to ensure that an incident such as this does not happen again.”