Pipework Engineering fined £24k after worker's hand crushed

Pipework Engineering Services Limited (PESL) has been fined £24,000 for safety failings after a worker suffered life changing hand injuries as a result of a crush incident.

The 35-year old employee, who was operating a foot pedal saw when he came into contact with the rotating blade, severed his hand and wrist in the incident which took place on March 21, 2016 and required surgical intervention to reattach.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Birmingham-based PESL failed to install the machine correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, meaning that it could be operated from a position that took the operator very close to the saw’s moving blade.

Pipework Engineering Services Limited of Emily Street, Highgate, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 17 (2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. As well as the £24,000 fine, the firm was ordered to pay £2,087.16 costs.

HSE principal inspector Geoffrey Brown said: “The company failed to ensure the machinery was set up in a safe manner and as a result the worker suffered life changing injuries.

“To prevent future, similar accidents it is essential that duty holders install and set up machines correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

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