Timber company fined £18k after worker’s fingers are severed

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A timber company has been fined after an employee severed three fingers in an unguarded roller conveyor.

The worker required extensive treatment and was unable to work for nine months as a result of the incident at Sewstern Timber Services, in Gunby Road, on March 9, 2012. As he attempted to clear blocked wood from the conveyor, his right hand came into contact with the sprockets and chains that drove the rollers and he severed parts of his middle, ring and little finger. He underwent two operations, physiotherapy, cell generation treatment and counselling.

Lincoln Crown Court heard on Friday that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the conveyor was inadequately guarded. The company failed to carry out a risk assessment for the machine so failed to identify the potential for harm.

Sewstern Timber Services pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
In October, the company which manufactured and installed the conveyor belt, Armistead Engineering, admitted breach of health and safety legislation and was fined £6,667 and ordered to pay £5,715 costs.