Major incident at work leads to fine for Kent firm

Weekly news recap: 7 days ending 3 Dec 2012

A serious hand injury suffered on the job by one employee has led to his Kent-based employer to face serious fines from the Health and Safety Executive.

This week, the big news was how BMM Weston Ltd ran into serious fines as a result of an HSE investigation following a grisly personal injury at work that involved an unguarded circular saw. Kent factory worker Graham Beal, from Faversham, suffered a nasty wound to his hand as he was attempting to use the saw to cut a solid steel piece in order to shape it for a metal trolley handle. Mr Beale had been using the metal cutting saw to cut the steel into the proper shapes, but had to hold the bit of metal in place by hand as the saw’s clamping system was not working properly.

The worker sustained severed tendons and some quite serious lacerations to his hand when it came in contact with the saw blade due because of the malfunctioning clamping system, sending him to hospital and causing the HSE to send a pack of inspectors out to investigate the cause of the industrial accident. The HSE’s investigation discovered bad news for Mr Beal’s employer, as the circular saw was found to be in such an unsuitable condition that it was declared generally unsafe due to poor maintenance – and that wasn’t the only piece of manufacturing equipment at the factory that was found to be similarly in disrepair.

The HSE prosecuted BMM Weston Ltd – as it usually does after finding some rather egregious health and safety violations at a worksite – and the manufacturing firm gave up the ghost, admitting to breaching work equipment regulations not once but twice. The Weston Works, Faversham-based company was told to pay a fine of £2,400 for their breaches and has since ensured that the clamping mechanism on the saw is now working properly and that the saw itself has been suitably fitted with guarding as well.

There is yet to be any indication regarding whether Mr Beal will be making a personal injury compensation claim against his employer.

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