A company boss was warned he faces jail after a worker tripped over a broken pallet and fell into a moving sawblade – slicing off three of his fingers.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard the G&D Pallets saw room on Douglas Road in Dundee was in an “appalling state” when Michael Rice suffered the horrific injuries in December 20 2011.
Medics were only able to reattach one of his fingers.
Depute fiscal Shona McJannett told the court that the incident took place while Mr Rice was sawing wood at the company’s warehouse.
He was unable to press the emergency stop button on the saw because it was broken.
Miss McJannett told the court that Mr Rice was employed as a casual worker in 2010 and given “basic training”.
He was then taken on again on a casual basis in 2011 and given no refresher training.
The prosecutor 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.”
Alexander Mackay, 65, of Blairgowrie, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until next month for a social work background report.
But he warned: “There is a very serious possibility of a prison sentence being imposed.”