A FURNITURE firm has been fined £8,000 after a Stone worker severed a finger in an unguarded machine.
David Cranswick, 61, suffered a number of injuries in the incident at Incube Limited’s factory on New Road Industrial Estate in Stafford, including the severing of his little finger, Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard last week.
Incube Limited, a school furniture manufacturer based at Girton Road, Cannock, admitted failing to ensure the safety of Mr Cranswick, who was injured on October 9 2012. The firm was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £1,025 in costs
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the interlock safety switch on the machine had been defeated, allowing access to the machine while the blade was moving. It also found the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the machine since it was introduced in 2010.
After the hearing HSE inspector Wayne Owen said:"The woodworking industry has one of the highest incident rates in manufacturing, most of which are caused by contact with moving machinery.
“HSE produces a wide range of free guidance to assist companies in carrying out risk assessments, and ensuring that woodworking equipment is safe to use and that people are properly trained.
“In short, what happened to this employee was easily preventable had the company appropriately considered the risks from their work processes and most fundamentally, not removed the safety device from the edge bander.”
In mitigation the court heard that company managing director Simon Brown had immediately admitted culpability.
Mr Cranswick, who was a workshop supervisor at the time, has since left the company.
Incube Ltd has since complied with all health and safety recommendations. All other machines used by the company were safe, magistrates were told.