Wimbledon Firm Fined For HSE Breaches

Employee injured at carpentery company

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A Wimbledon carpentery firm has been fined £15,000 after a court heard an employee accidentally cut off part of a finger with a circular saw.

Pentcroft Ltd, of Garrett Lane, were sentenced at the City of London Magistrates' Court after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The court heard that Simon Lear, an employee at Pentcroft’s carpentry and joinery workshop, cut off part of his right hand index finger in March 2010 when using a circular saw.

Just one month after that incident, an HSE Inspector witnessed another employee using a spindle moulder, a potentially dangerous machine, without safety precautions in place.

HSE's investigation found Pentcroft failed to give Mr Lear and his co-workers safety training and information, or provide adequate supervision. It also became apparent the company had no knowledge of the formal training that wood machinists should receive.

Pentcroft Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching / was found guilty of breaching, Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,203.80 costs.

HSE Inspector Clare Hawkes said after the hearing: "Woodworking machines have a long and serious accident history which is well known in the industry. It is the employers' job to ensure that workers have sufficient information and training to work safely and that they are properly supervised. It is also the employers' responsibility to enforce safety rules, not the employees.

"There is a wealth of guidance on HSE’s website about how to work safely on woodworking machinery, there was no need for Pentcroft Ltd’s employees to be exposed to risks of injury."

February 15, 2011