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Suspended sentence for employer.

A businessman has been sentenced after one of his workers severed three fingers.

Andrew Gibson was given a suspended jail sentence for safety breaches after a worker suffered life-changing injuries.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on October 19 2016, the man was using an Elektra Beckum table saw to cut down 2.4m x 2.4m chipboard sheets at a workshop in Houndhill Park, Rotherham, when his right hand made contact with the unguarded saw blade and severed three of his fingers.

After the incident Gibson took the man to hospital. Two of his fingers were reattached at the hospital but the third was never found.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the worker was pushing the sheets through the saw by hand, without using an appropriate pushstick, or jig, which would have kept his hand and fingers away from the moving blade.

At the time of the incident, the crown guard and riving knife were also not fixed to the machine. The investigation also found there was no Employer’s Liability (Compulsory Insurance) policy in place.

Gibson of Lower Dolcliffe Road, Mexborough, South Yorkshire, who was then trading as Crosby Kitchens, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £17,000 compensation to the injured man.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector, Jane Fox, said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices.

“Dangerous parts of machinery should be appropriately guarded as required by the legislation, in order to protect employees.”