A County Durham sawmill has been fine after a man suffered serious injuries at work.

An employee of DAF Timber Limited, Bishop Auckland, sustained serious injuries to his left hand, after his index and middle finger came into contact with the moving blades to remove a blockage on February 6.

This resulted in both fingers being amputated down to the first knuckle. 

The company, located on Coundon Industrial Estate pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988 at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on 22 November and were fined £26,500 and ordered to pay £3,481.45 in costs.   

HSE inspector Clare Maltby said: “Companies must ensure that suitable measures are taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machines.

“It is imperative that organisations risk assess machines, make certain that access is prevented to dangerous parts of machinery such as saw blades by installing suitable guards and implement safe systems of work.”

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The HSE spokesperson said the company have had a "poor inspection history with the Health and Safety Executive, who have previously issued improvement notices to the business".

These notices concerned a "failure to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery, and to maintain guards and protection devices".

An HSE investigation found it had failed to ensure suitable measures had been taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machines.