A carpentry firm based in South London, has recently been prosecuted after courts heard of its consistently failings to provide adequate health an safety measures for its workers

The Wimbledon-based Pentcroft Ltd were sentenced at the City of London Magistrates’ Court after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company allowed their employees to use woodworking machinery without ensuring that they were adequately trained, informed of safe working practices, and supervised.

The court heard that Simon Lear, an employee at Pencroft’s carpentry and joinery workshop, cut off part of his right hand index finger in March 2010 when using a circular saw.

Just one month after that incident, an HSE Inspector witnessed another employee using a spindle moulder, a potentially dangerous machine, without safety precautions in place.

HSE’s investigation found Pentcroft Limited failed to give Mr Lear and his co-workers safety training and information, or provide adequate supervision. It also became apparent the company had no knowledge of the formal training that wood machinists should receive.

Pentcroft Ltd, of Garratt Lane, Wimbledon, pleaded guilty to breaching / was found guilty of breaching, Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £15,000 today and ordered to pay £3,203.80 costs.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Clare Hawkes, said:

“Woodworking machines have a long and serious accident history which is well known in the industry. It is the employers’ job to ensure that workers have sufficient information and training to work safely and that they are properly supervised. It is also the employers’ responsibility to enforce safety rules, not the employees.

“There is a wealth of guidance on HSE’s website about how to work safely on woodworking machinery, there was no need for Pentcroft Ltd’s employees to be exposed to risks of injury