S.Cartwright and Sons (Coachbuilders) Ltd – a coachbuilding business based in Cheshire – has been served with a fine for more than £50,000 after one of its employees suffered life changing injuries.
In 2013, a 21-year-old employee was carrying out his duties at the company’s premises, feeding wood over a planer.
However, because the machine did not have any safety guards in place, the employee’s fingers touched the blades.
As a result, his little finger was amputated and he sustained serious injuries to the rest of his right hand, which then needed skin grafts.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court was informed that if simple guarding had been correctly fitted, which the company had identified as its responsibility in a formal risk assessment, then the incident would not have taken place.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation also revealed that the company did not supervise untrained employees, and the man at the centre of the case had not used the planer without assistance before the incident happened.
The same company has previously been prosecuted by HSE for other health and safety failings, including two fatal accidents.
It was also revealed in court that S. Cartwright and Sons (Coachbuilders) Ltd had been given 12 enforcement notices since 2001, including an Improvement Notice in 2006 that related to enhancements needed for risk assessments.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay a £50,000 fine in addition to £5,890 in costs.
Adam McMahon, the HSE inspector involved with the case, said: “A man suffered life changing injuries which could have been prevented had the company’s safety systems been properly managed.
“The management of health and safety systems is paramount in order for companies to ensure employees safety, wellbeing and morale.”