A Bolton pallet manufacturer has been convicted for health and safety offences after a factory worker’s fingers were cut off by a rotating saw.

The machine the employee was working on when his fingers were severed

The 27-year-old lost three fingers on his left hand, down to the second knuckle, while working at Frank Hill Ltd on the Scot Lane Industrial Estate in Blackrod. The firm was prosecuted after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no guard on the saw and the worker had not received training on how to use it.

Manchester Crown Court heard the worker, who has asked not to be named, had been holding a large piece of wood while his colleague cut through it, when his hand caught on the rotating blade on 22 December 2010.

When an HSE inspector visited the site, she immediately issued two Prohibition Notices preventing that saw and another similar saw from being used until guards had been put in place.

Frank Hill Ltd, which formerly traded as IPC Services, was found guilty of two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 on following a trial at Trafford Magistrates Court on 16 December 2012.

The company went into liquidation on 28 July 2011 and was fined £2 with no costs during a sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court on 30 April 2012.

Speaking after the hearing, Sarah Taylor, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:

“Sadly, incidents like this are still all too common in the manufacturing industry. We will continue to prosecute firms that put the safety of their staff at risk.

“Two basic health and safety errors by Frank Hill Ltd led to a young factory worker losing three fingers.

“The company should have ensured guards were in place on all its circular saws, and shouldn’t have allowed any employees to work on the machines without training.”