A Dagenham-based firm has been sentenced after a worker severed a finger and seriously injured two others on a badly-guarded cutting block capable of 10,000 cuts per minute.
The 39-year-old man from Greenwich, south-east London, was employed as a wood machinist by K & D Joinery Ltd when the incident happened on 19 November 2010 at their factory in Chequers Lane, Dagenham.
He was edging a rectangular piece of timber using a hand-fed planing machine and was pushing the timber toward the cylindrical cutting block when his middle, ring and index fingers contacted the blades of the machine. He suffered severe lacerations to the ends of his fingers and had to have the middle finger amputated.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which today (22 May) prosecuted K & D Joinery for safety breaches at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard the worker, who does not wish to be named, had been unable to move an adjustable guard to cover the cutter block as it was defective, and had not been functioning for several months.
K & D Joinery, registered at Limes Road, Beckenham, Kent, was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,500 in costs after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The firm was also told to pay £3,000 compensation to the injured man.