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Furniture employee injured by unguarded machine

23 September 2019

A FURNITURE manufacturer, A and L Furnishings Ltd, has been fined after an employee was injured whilst operating unguarded machinery.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that on 19 March 2018, the employee had been using a horizontal drilling machine to make parts for a chair at the company site in Leyland when the fingers of his left hand came into contact with unguarded counter-rotating drill bits and became entangled. The incident caused extensive damage to his left hand, resulting in the amputation of two fingers.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that it was possible for employees to reach the dangerous parts of the horizontal drilling machine when it was in operation as A and L Furnishings Ltd had failed to provide a suitable guard for the machine.

A and L Furnishings Ltd of Leyland, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined of £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5500.85.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks said, “The dangers of unguarded machinery are well-known. If A and L Furnishings Ltd had ensured that suitable guarding was in place, then this incident would have been avoided.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action when the required standards are not met.”