Michael Lavery acts for sawmill in HSE prosecution

May 18, 2018

Michael Lavery from Exchange Chambers acted for sawmill, A & J Scott Limited, in a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

The Court heard that, in July 2016, an employee of A & J Scott Limited attempted to clear a blockage on the conveyor feed and edger machine. As he climbed onto the machine 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 HSE found that the company had not ensured that measures were taken to prevent access to the dangerous moving parts of the sawmilling equipment. They also failed to safeguard employees who would be working at height whilst on the machine and take steps to prevent employees standing on the machinery whilst it was live, and in a state that it could be turned on at any time.

Despite submissions by the HSE to the contrary the Court found that the submissions made by the company as to Culpability, Risk and Harm were well founded and the Company was sentenced in accordance with its admitted limited failing.

A & J Scott Limited of Station Sawmills, Wooperton, Alnwick 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.