Cumbria factory owner fined £20k for worker's foot loss

Image caption, Protective guards have now been placed around the machine

The owner of a Cumbrian wood factory has been fined £20,000 after a worker's foot was severed by a log cutting machine.

A 24-year-old man was dealing with a conveyor belt blockage last June when his foot got caught in spinning blades.

The man, who was 15 days into his new job, was a keen footballer who had a trial planned with a local club.

Allan Jenkinson, 56, who owns Forest Products in Clifton, Penrith, pleaded guilty to putting workers at risk.

He was fined £20,000 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and ordered to pay £6,146 in costs.

'Easily preventable'

Penrith Magistrates' Court heard the worker was using a chainsaw to deal with a stuck log on a conveyor.

He lost his balance and his right foot became caught in 48 razor-sharp revolving blades at the bottom of the log box.

The employee, who was working alone, crawled out of the box and used a radio to call for help.

The HSE concluded Mr Jenkinson had not put sufficient safeguards in place for workers.

Since the incident on 29 June 2009, the company has installed fixed guards around the machine.

Faye Wingfield, HSE inspector, said: "Life-changing incidents such as this one are easily preventable.

"It must be a high priority for employers to ensure that their workers are kept safe from serious injury and death at work."

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