Packaging firm fined £100k after agency worker injured by table saw

A packaging manufacturer has been fined for safety breaches after a worker received severe hand injuries at a factory in Yorkshire.

On 15 June 2020 an agency worker injured their fingers when using a table saw without a guard at Loadhog Limited’s site at Hawke Street, Sheffield.

The worker, who was operating the saw, received the injuries when his fingers came into contact with a rotating saw blade. Three fingers were partially severed although they were later reattached in hospital.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, resulting in a failure to provide a suitable guard, allowing access to the exposed parts of the saw blade.

HSE has guidance for people and companies who own, operate or have control over work equipment and how to use it safely.

At Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on 25 April, Loadhog Limited of The Hog Works, Hawke Street, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. They were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £3,139.75 in costs.

After the hearing the HSE inspector Laura Hunter said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing the correct control measures and safe working practices.

“HSE has clear guidance on the provision and use of work equipment that can help in preventing incidents like this from happening.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

This HSE prosecution was brought by HSE Enforcement Lawyers Jon Mack and Kate Harney and supported by Paralegal Officer Rebecca Forman.