Thursday, 29 January 2015

Unguarded woodworking router causes loss of finger

North Quay Trading Limited, a Kent joinery firm was fined on 27 January after an employee lost the tip of his left middle finger on an unguarded piece of machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • An overhead router had a guard, but it had been removed during a change in tooling and not refitted.
  • This happened at least a couple of weeks before the accident.
  • A worker was the router to manually machine a rebate along the edge of some door panels. 
  • As he worked on his third or fourth panel his left hand slipped and came into contact with the cutting tool.
  • This required a partial amputation of the injured digit.

The HSE Inspector commented:
“The worker suffered a painful injury and is now permanently disfigured as a result of an incident that was entirely preventable had the safety guard been in place. Guards are there for a reason and the onus was on North Quay Trading Limited to instigate routine checks to ensure they were fitted and working effectively at all times. A substantial number of the injuries reported to HSE involve workers coming into contact with dangerous moving parts, particularly in a manufacturing environment. The risks are clear and safety guidance is freely available covering guarding requirements.”

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