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An export services company has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries when his finger came into contact with a saw blade.

The employee’s left index finger was partially severed when it came into contact with an unguarded part of the radial arm saw blade It was said that he was using it to cut wooden batons, the Court heard. The incident happened on 16 September 2019.

The HSE’s investigation found that Neil Smith of Export Services Limited had failed to maintain the adjustable front guard on their radial arm saw. The wing nuts were broken which rendered the guard inoperable.

A plea of guilt was offered to the court in relation to breaching Section 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was duly fined and ordered to pay costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Lydia Edwards said: “The incident could have been easily avoided had the company repaired the guard as soon as it became inoperable. Employers must ensure that machinery guarding is kept in good working order.”

We believe the use of guards is essential and the maintenance of and knowledge of how to use them correctly as well as being able to report equipment that isn’t working should be an essential part of the use of any piece of equipment.

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