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Worker loses part of hand in accident

  • 19 February 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Haulage and timber processing firm GLT (Durham) has been fined £5,000 after an employee’s hand was badly injured by a poorly guarded saw.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Darlington Magistrates’ Court was told that Richard Eggleston, 22, from Bishop Auckland, was working with a colleague, operating a large band rack-saw to produce fencing posts from logs at the firm’s site on the Aptec Enterprise Park in West Auckland in May 2012.

As Eggleston fed wood into the saw, his right hand came into contact with the blade. He lost his thumb and index finger and sustained a further deep cut to his middle finger. He was off work for eight months and still has problems with movement and grip.

The court was told the age of the equipment – manufactured before 1960 – was no excuse for not assessing and upgrading the guarding to ensure that dangerous parts were adequately protected.

An HSE investigation into the incident found there was nothing protecting workers from the rear edge of the saw’s blade. GLT (Durham) – with an O-licence for three vehicles and eight trailers – was ordered to pay £3,000 in costs. It admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.


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