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Farmer prosecuted after worker's fingers severed

05-10-2011

The thumb and fingers on a worker’s right hand were cut off while he was using a firewood processing machine at a Shropshire farm, a court heard.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted farmer Richard Griffiths, of Town Cottage Farm, Hughley, after the 16 December 2010 incident that left 26-year-old agency worker Stuart Tomlins with life-changing injuries.

Shrewsbury Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Tomlins, from Craven Arms, was trying to straighten a log that had become twisted in the machine’s splitting chute.

As he put his right hand inside the chute, the hydraulic splitting ram, which pushes logs onto a blade, activated; pushing his hand through the blade along with the log, severing his thumb and all four fingers.

Mr Griffiths pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. He was fined £14,000 in total and ordered to pay £8,500 costs.

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