Worker severed three fingers in horrific accident in Rotherham

An employer has been given a suspended prison sentence after a worker severed three fingers in a horrific accident in Rotherham.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 3:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 1:15 pm

The employee was using a table saw to cut large chipboard sheets at a workshop in Houndhill Park, Rotherham, when he caught his hand on the unguarded blade.

He was taken to hospital where two of his fingers were reattached, but the third digit was never found.

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The table saw on which the worker cut himself, severing three fingers

His employer Andrew Gibson, of Lower Dolcliffe Road, in Mexborough, who at the time was trading as Crosby Kitchens, admitted breaching health and safety regulations.

The 42-year-old was sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £17,000 compensation to the injured worker.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, following the accident on October 19, 2016, found the worker had been pushing the sheets through the saw by hand that day, without using an appropriate pushstick or jig which would have kept his hand and fingers away from the moving blade.

The crown guard and riving knife were also not fixed to the machine at the time, the watchdog learned, and there was no compulsory employer’s liability insurance in place.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Fox said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices.

“Dangerous parts of machinery should be appropriately guarded as required by the legislation, in order to protect employees.”