Company fined after worker nearly loses arm in electric saw accident at Rufford

Nottingham Magistrates' Court
Nottingham Magistrates' Court
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A holiday park has been ordered to pay out nearly £9,000 by a court after one of its workers nearly lost an arm while using a circular saw.

Leisure activities trainer Konor Klein was helping to upgrade chalets at Sherwood Castle Holiday Forest, Rufford – run by Sherwood Castle Limited - when the accident happened, prompting an investigation by Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Nottingham Magistrates were told how 21-year-old Mr Klein has been left with a long-term disability to his right arm and hand, had two operations to repair the damage and had lost feeling and sensation in his right arm and hand.

When council officers spoke with Mr Klein after the accident – which occurred on 7th January 7 last year - he told them that when his leisure activities’ role was quiet, he was expected to assist the maintenance men in upgrading the holiday forest site.

He also confirmed that the only health and safety induction training he had received since joining the company in February 2012 had been from In2action for his leisure activities’ role. He had received no training on the use of the Erbuaer 254mm Double Bevel Mitre saw, nor had he seen the instruction booklet or a risk assessment for the equipment.

The court was told that the risks had been foreseeable and that staff on-site had received no health and safety induction or training despite them being expected to carry out a wide range of work, including grounds maintenance and repairs and upgrades to the holiday lodges, all involving the use of power tools.

Despite the company’s health and safety policy stating that weekly maintenance checks on portable equipment would carried out, there were no records of such checks being undertaken.

No Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was provided for untrained staff to work safely and the company relied upon them to identify the risks for themselves and to procure PPE they thought they needed.

The court also heard that no detailed risk assessments had been carried out to comply with health and safety legislation and the company’s health and safety policy had not been tailored to identify the activities being carried out on site nor developed to address the risks identified.

The company pleaded guilty for breaching their duty toward health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It was fined £5,000 with the council being awarded £3,500 toward its costs. The company was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.

Alan Batty, the council’s business manager for environmental health, said: “The company and directors had the benefit of two previous health and safety inspections - in September 2005 and March 2010 - when concern over risk assessments and lack of health and safety training records being available for inspection were highlighted.

“It would appear that advice was not heeded and consequently a young man suffered an horrendous injury, nearly lost his arm and must now live with a long term disability.”