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Commercial packaging co lands £120k fine for unsupervised driver’s circular saw injuries

An employee driver for a packaging firm sustained severe injuries to his right hand after he was instructed to operate a circular saw with no supervision. 

Commercial packaging co lands £120k fine for unsupervised driver’s circular saw injuries
The victim's hand was pulled into the blade
Commercial packaging co lands £120k fine for unsupervised driver’s circular saw injuries
The circular saw

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the worker, who was employed as a driver by WK West, was asked to work in the firm’s factory on 3 October 2016 after he had finished his driving duties for the day. 

The superviser had set up a circular saw and demonstrated the task of pushing stacked cardboard sheets through it. No push stick or jig was used to push the cardboard through the blade. Once the demonstration was complete, the driver was left unsupervised to continue the work.

As he pushed the cardboard through the saw, the cardboard twisted and pulled his right hand into the blade. His injuries were so severe that part of the index finger and ring finger had to be amputated from his right hand, with his middle finger being damaged.

The Health and Safety Executive found that WK West had failed to provide suitable training, supervision and assessment of the risks to ensure the circular saw was used safely. 

Sheffield-based WK West, which trades as Westpack and supplies commercial packaging solutions and specialist technical tapes, pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £120,000 and paid £850 in costs.

 

Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine 

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