A boss has been ordered to pay £10,000 compensation to an employee who sliced off three of his fingers in an accident at work.
Alexander Mackay was ordered by Dundee Sheriff Court to pay the sum to worker Michael Rice, following an accident at G&D Pallets. He was further fined £7,500.
The court previously heard Mr Rice tripped over a broken pallet on the floor of the firm’s workshop, formerly based on Douglas Road, and put his hand into a moving sawblade.
He was rushed to hospital following the incident, but doctors were only able to sew one finger back on to his hand. The accident happened while Mr Rice was cutting wood.
He was unable to press the emergency stop button on the saw as it was broken and had been for some time.
Mackay, 65, then a partner of the firm and Mr Rice’s employer, pleaded guilty to a number of health and safety breaches.
Fiscal depute Shona McJannett said: “At the time the premises were very busy and they were struggling for space in the saw room.
“There were pallets partially blocking one door, completely blocking the second door and stacked up throughout the room and around the saw.
“Mr Rice was working alone in the saw room. A broken pallet had been left lying near the saw bench on which he was working.
“He turned and tripped over the broken pallet. As he fell, he held out his hands and his right hand came into contact with the running blade of the saw.”
Mackay admitted “extremely poor” housekeeping at the former company, failing to provide staff with training to operate either of two saws or supervision in doing so and inadequate measures to maintain machinery.
Mackay, of Franklin Street, Ardler, near Coupar Angus, also admitted failing to undertake risk assessments in using the saws and failing to monitor standards. He admitted these conditions led to Mr Rice coming into contact with a moving sawblade, to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement, on December 20 2011.
Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “This was a gross management failure. It was your responsibility to protect employees and that cannot be delegated on to or shuffled off on others.
“There was an obvious danger which might have been observed by you – an obvious danger which you should have seen. You failed to take even the most basic steps to protect employees and therefore is seems that a prison sentence would be appropriate.
“The only thing that makes me step away from that is the age of this case.”