Sawmill fined £400,000 after worker has leg amputated

A and J Scott Ltd
A and J Scott Ltd

A Northumberland sawmill has been fined £400,000 after a worker had his leg amputated by a blade.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard that, in July 2016, an employee of A & J Scott Limited, at Wooperton, tried to clear a blockage on a machine.

As he climbed onto it, he was caught by the moving parts, pushed forward and his trailing leg was amputated below the knee by the saw blade.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not ensured that measures were taken to prevent access to the dangerous moving parts of the sawmilling equipment.

It also failed to safeguard employees who would be working at height while on the machine and take steps to prevent employees standing on the machinery while it was live, and in a state that it could be turned on at any time.

A & J Scott Limited, of Station Sawmills, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,392.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Wilson said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers.

“Had this been done then this worker would not have received life-changing injuries.”