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Company fined after worker seriously injured

Date:
8 May 2017

A salad growing company has been fined after an employee was seriously injured by a chainsaw while felling trees.

Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard that an employee of Growing Green Limited suffered deep cuts to his arm while working with another colleague at the Brentwood Nursery on 6 April 2016.

The two employees were working together with one person holding and supporting the branches and the other cutting through them using the chainsaw. During this operation one man’s arm landed on top of the moving chainsaw.

The man sustained deep lacerations damaging the nerves in his arm.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither man had been trained to operate the chainsaw, nor were the pair wearing any personal protective equipment (i.e. chainsaw trousers and jacket, chainsaw gloves, safety helmet, safety boots and eye protection). There was no supervision and no proper planning had been put in place.

Growing Green Ltd pleaded guilty to a single breach under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £120,000, including a £170 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay costs of £1,864.35.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Tania van Rixtel said: “This incident could have easily been avoided if the company had adopted a safe method of working that did not put an employee in the direct line of the moving chainsaw. It was only luck that the gentleman did not lose his arm.

“Companies are reminded that even occasional and ‘one-off’ jobs need to be properly planned to ensure the correct control measures are in place.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Industry specific guidance can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg317.pdf

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