Company prosecuted after employee injured using ripsaw

A building and maintenance company was fined after an employee was injured while operating a ripsaw.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on 2 June 2017, the worker was cutting timber to construct a door in the joinery workshop of Connors Building and Restoration Limited, in Knowsley, Merseyside. As he fed a length of hardwood through the blade, an offcut was ejected backwards striking the employee and impaling itself in his upper leg and groin. Although the saw had a crown guard and riving knife, no work piece support was being used.

An investigation by the Health and Safety executive (HSE) found that no risk assessment for the machine had been carried out to identify the controls to reduce the risk of kick back of timber. The company failed to provide adequate training and supervision in use of the work equipment including workpiece supports.

Connors Building and Restoration Limited, of Knowsley Industrial Estate, Liverpool, was found Guilty to breaching regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 etc. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £68,192.15.

HSE inspector Catherine Lyon said after the hearing “This injury could have been easily prevented by identifying and implementing safe working practices when using this machine and in ensuring employees were provided with appropriate information, instruction and training to ensure these methods were followed.”

[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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