Wood mill company fined after worker looses fingers in wood planer

A milling company has been fined after a worker suffered life changing injuries resulting in loss and partial loss of three fingers in his dominant hand.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 21 September 2015, an employee of Nene Milling Company Limited in Wisbech was cleaning wood dust from a 4-sided planer/moulder using an extraction pipe and his hand came into contact with the cutter block. Access to the working parts is usually prevented by hood enclosures but these were damaged, meaning the interlocks were not working. Also, during the set up process, temporary cutter guards should have been in place but were not.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found the company failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery and failed to provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision of employees.

Nene Milling Company Limited of Brigstock Road, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2499.03.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Roxanne Barker said: “This life changing injury was easily preventable and the risk should have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

[Source HSE: https://press.hse.gov.uk/ public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence]

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