A worker has lost his finger in a wood planing accident in Aldershot.
Norbert Pietrzkiewicz was working with timber at Total Installations Ltd factory last February. He was working to reduce the thickness of timber lengths using a planer machine.
The machine in question had been set up by an untrained worker, and as a result was not operating correctly. Wood shavings from the planed 3 metre lengths of timber were blocking the revolving knife of the machine.
Mr Pietrzkiewicz was clearing the accumulation of shavings when his glove became entangled with the rotating cutting block. This pulled his hand into the cutting mechanism that spins at around 7,000 rpm. The rotating blades cut his little finger and it had to be amputated at the first joint.
The Health and Safety Executive pursued a prosecution against Total Installations Ltd for breaking health and safety regulations in regards to the accident. This was because there was insufficient safety guarding on the machine. This would have prevented access to dangerous moving parts.
At Aldershot Magistrates’ Court yesterday, the company pleaded guilty and were fined £12,000.
A HSE inspector stated that the accident and injury could have been prevented by carrying out an adequate risk assessment.