Bee keeping business fined after worker loses top of finger

A beekeeping business in Cambridge has been fined $32,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $10,000 after an employee lost part of his finger on an unguarded table saw.

The Te Awamutu District Court heard yesterday that on July 3 this year an employee was working at the Benn Road, Cambridge premises of Cambridge Bee Products Limited cutting plywood inserts on an unguarded tablesaw. The wood he was working on was kicked back by the saw forcing his hand into the blade and removing the tip of his right index finger to the first joint, part of his thumb and causing serious cuts to his other fingers.

Murray Thompson, Acting Central Division General Manager, Health and Safety, said: "The guidelines for the safe use of woodworking machinery have been freely available for nearly 20 years, and can all be found on the MBIE website. These give clear guidance on the types of guards that should be used on tablesaws.

"This is not a complex piece of machinery and the guarding standards are there to ensure the safety of employees.

"The end result of not ensuring the machine was guarded effectively is an employee who has suffered a permanent disability that could easily have been avoided," Mr Thompson said.

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