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Merchant fined after health and safety accident

A Herefordshire-based builders and timber merchant was fined £3,500 with £8,973 after an employee’s hand was nailed to a pallet in March last year.
The Pontrilas Timber Builders’ Merchants employee was operating an automatic wooden pallet-making machine earlier this year when it started unexpectedly and nailed his hand and wrist to the top of a pallet.

There was no guard across the front of the machine to shield him from its moving parts.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Luke Messenger said: “This was a horrific incident that could have been easily prevented.

“Automated machinery like this, where people are required to feed materials in, always runs the risk of trapping arms and hands.

“Guards or protective devices should be provided. The fact the machinery started unexpectedly was an added complication, but with the proper safety precautions in place, the injured party’s hands wouldn’t have been able to be pulled inside.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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