A pupil at a school in Solihull suffered a major hand injury in an accident during a design and technology lesson.
The pupil was just 11 years old at the time, and was a year seven student at Alderbrook School during October last year. The pupil was participating in a design and technology lesson and using a bench sanding machine.
The incident occurred when the boy’s hand became accidentally trapped between the rotating sanding disc and the table edge of the machine. This caused him to suffer a serious hand injury that damaged tendons in his left hand.
The hand injury required surgery to treat and caused the boy to take several weeks off school. The injury still affects and has stopped him from having full movement in his fingers.
The Health and Safety Executive investigated the sanding machine after the accident and found that although it had a safety guard in place, it had been designed for adults and not children. This meant that the gap was still big enough to trap a child’s hand. No attempt had been made to adapt the machine to make it safe for smaller hands.
The school was fined £3,500 on Monday for breaking health and safety law in regards to the accident.
A HSE inspector stated that health and safety management at the school was not up to standard at the time. He stressed that the prosecution was not intended to stop schools from allowing pupils to use machinery but to encourage risk assessment appropriate to the age and maturity of students.