A worker at a hardwood flooring company was injured when a large piece of the walnut board he was cutting split and punctured his arm. The subsequent investigation found that the safety guards and riving knife had been removed the previous day in order to use the circular saw to be used in a way for which it had not been intended.
The guards and riving knife were not replaced despite the fact that the riving knife is designed specifically to prevent the type of accident that then occurred. This meant that the company was in breach of health and safety regulations, as the machine was not used for its intended purpose and the modifications had left it unsafe to use.
The worker who was injured in the accident made a full recovery, thanks to the actions of the first-aider on site, who made sure that the section of wood that was stuck in his arm remained there until he reached the hospital.
This incident underlines not only the importance of machine inspections but also the necessity of having a first-aider who has received the appropriate first aid training and knows how to respond to different types of injury.