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Injury at work – worker loses finger

A carpenter has suffered serious injuries to his hand following safety failings that led to an incident with a rotary saw.

Finger amputated – what happened?

Weymouth Magistrates’ Court heard that George Warren Heath, aged 19 at the time of the incident, was preparing lengths of wood for use as doorframes. Part of the process involved operating a ‘flip over saw’. However, the saw was not fitted with a safety guard, and three of Mr Heath’s fingers came into contact with the spinning blade – one of the fingers was badly damaged and required amputation.

An investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive discovered that although Mr Heath’s employer had provided safety guards, adequate measures were not taken to ensure that those guards were in place.

Sugar Construction Limited was found guilty of breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The construction firm was fined £1,500 and was also required to pay full costs of £1,543.

HSE Inspector James Powell commented:

“This case emphasises the need for employers to ensure that equipment is properly maintained to ensure that dangerous parts of the machinery cannot be accessed and that a risk assessment is carried out covering
all foreseeable uses and operations of the work equipment.”

“Table saws should not be used unless the appropriate safety devices and protection appliances are used. Workers should be provided with the information, instruction, training and supervision as is appropriate
with the tool that is being used.”

Accident at work compensation – speak to the experts

If you have been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault, you may be entitled to maximum personal injury compensation. Depending on the nature of your injury, our advice and guidance may extend into arranging your rehabilitation.

Our dedicated team of personal injury solicitors offers a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. For instant answers and peace of mind, call 0800 888 6 888 or email

Source: Health and Safety Executive

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