Window firm fined after worker's fingers severed

A window firm has been fined £12,000 for a safety breach after a worker lost part of four fingers when he trapped them in a rotating saw.

The 29-year-old was making wooden frames at the New West Port Corporation in Maryport when his hand became stuck on 2 March 2011.

West Cumbria Magistrates' Court heard that the machine should have had a guard.

The firm admitted a safety breach and was also ordered to pay £4,075 costs.

The hearing was told the man had been feeding pieces of wood through the machine at the factory - which makes wooden doors and window frames - when the accident happened.

He is now disabled and struggles to carry out everyday tasks such as shaving and cooking, the court heard.

'Moment's lapse'

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) probe found there should have been a guard over the machine's rotating saw.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Andrew Jewitt said: "It's a basic legal requirement that all industrial machinery is properly guarded to protect workers from dangerous moving parts.

"A moment's lapse of concentration led to one of West Port's employees losing parts of all four fingers on his right hand, but it should never have been possible for him to reach inside the machine while the blade was still rotating.

"The company has since installed a tunnel guard over the machine's exit.

"If this simple guard had been in place at the time of the incident then the worker's injuries could have been avoided."