Firm fined after Ollerton man hurt by saw

A HARDWOOD floor company has been fined after an Ollerton worker’s arm was punctured by a large piece of wood as he worked on a circular saw.

Paul Murdoch (40) was cutting walnut boards on a circular ripsaw at Weldon Contracts Ltd’s workshop in Caunton Road, Norwell, on 11th September 2009 when a 90cm section broke off and pierced his arm.

Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine had no guards or a riving knife - a safety device at the back of the saw which pushes the two pieces of wood apart and prevents kickbacks.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court was told the saw had been used the day before for a different purpose and the safety devices had not been put back on.

Weldon Contracts Ltd, of Lincolnshire, admitted breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £6,000 with £4,773 costs.

HSE inspector Lorna Sherlock said: “This type of machine is wholly unsuitable for deep cutting as it cannot be carried out without first removing the guards and riving knife.

“Not only did the company fail in its duty to only use the machine for its intended purpose, it also failed in its duty to make sure it was fit for its correct purpose by re-attaching the guard and riving knife.

“Mr Murdoch was extremely fortunate not to have been more seriously injured. Thanks to the actions of the site first aider who insisted on leaving the wood in place until Mr Murdoch got to hospital, he has made a full recovery.”