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  3. Lack of safety device results in serious hand injury

A worker at a butchers’ firm in Bristol suffered severe injury to his hand after he had performed a task on a machine without the safety device being engaged.

The butchers’ pleaded guilty to charges of a breach of the health and safety regulations, resulting in a fine. The worker had been asked to cut bones using a band saw, but the safety mechanism which formed part of the machinery, was not in place at the time. The reason given for not using the safety feature was that the worker had not been trained how to use it.

The worker ended up with deep lacerations to his left hand. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the firm had not provided suitable training so that the worker could carry out the task in a safe manner. The butchers’ had also failed to provide adequate supervision while the task was being performed, and had failed to assess the risks involved in the task. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was ordered to pay a fine of £18,000 along with of £1,343.

According to Tania Nickson, the HSE inspector, if suitable training had been provided, along with the use of PPE and the built-in safety feature, this accident could have been avoided. Nickson added that the injuries could have been a lot more severe. This is one of the most common risks to butchers, especially when carrying out the boning out procedure.

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