Butcher fined after unsafe saw spotted by inspector

A butcher has been told to pay £17,181 for allowing a saw to be used without a safety guard.

Birmingham Magistrates Court. Photo: Google
Birmingham Magistrates Court. Photo: Google

Hong Keen (Midlands) Limited, based in Birmingham's Bullring Indoor Market, was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and fined £13,500 as well as being ordered to pay £3,500.95 costs and £181 victim surcharge.

Birmingham City Council brought the prosecution after an Environmental Health officer saw an employee using a band saw without the adjustable blade guard and the push guard tied up with an elastic band.

The officer, who was carrying out a food inspection, noted the health and safety guards were not being used properly meaning the employee’s fingers and hands were at risk of coming into contact with the moving blade of the bandsaw.

This could have led to severe cuts or loss of fingers.

Birmingham Magistrates Court heard that a Prohibition Notice had been served on Hong Keen (Midlands) Limited on November 29, 2017 relating to unsafe use of the band saw and requiring the guards to be used at all times.

Councillor Philip Davis, chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Failing to use machinery guarding correctly can result in horrific injuries and this prosecution followed a previous warning that unsafe use could result in employee’s having severe lacerations or life changing injuries of fingers or hands being amputated.

“Officers will continue to take action where minimum standards of health and safety are not met or worse still being flouted. There is a reason why guards are fitted to machines and by-passing these guards or removing them is wholly unacceptable.”

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