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Kitchen co had no proper guarding on tenoning machine

A luxury kitchen manufacturer has been taken to court after a worker’s hand got trapped on a revolving cutting block that was not correctly guarded and deemed unsuitable for use in manual mode.

An example of limited cutter projection tooling
An example of limited cutter projection tooling | Image credit: HSE

The worker had two fingers on his right hand amputated following the incident on 31 October 2014. 

Bespoke in Oak was sentenced at Northampton Magistrates’ Court, when it was revealed there was no functioning limited cutter projection tooling on the cutting block and dangerous moving parts were exposed. 

Limiters control the thickness of the workpieces that come into contact with the cutter, reducing the risk of it being “snatched” by the machine and kicked back at the operator. They reduce injury if a worker comes into contact with the rotating tool and have been required on hand-fed woodworking machines since 2003. 

Bespoke in Oak did not train the operator on how to use the equipment, the court heard, while his supervisor failed to notice the unsafe working method. Also, the cutting block was on a single-end tenoning machine and should not have been set to manual. 

The company was fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1), 11(1), 9(1) and 9(2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to ensure the suitability of work equipment, not preventing access to dangerous machinery, and failing to provide adequate training. It was also ordered to pay full costs of £1,896.


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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