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Firm in court after worker’s chainsaw injury

Enviroclean (Scotland) Ltd has been prosecuted after one of its workers was injured when the chainsaw he was using hit his leg as he slipped while felling trees.

What happened?

Hugh Dorricot had been instructed to clear the vegetation from a sloped embankment back in 2010. As he was felling one of the trees, the ground moved beneath his feet and he began to slide backwards down the embankment.

As he fell, the chainsaw that he had been using cut into his lower leg. He required an operation to heal the wound, but has since recovered and returned to work.

An investigation into the incident found that the 26-year-old wasn’t wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and hadn’t been satisfactorily trained to use a chainsaw.

Enviroclean had produced a risk assessment for using a chainsaw, which stated that all members of staff must be properly instructed, trained and supervised, and that personal protective equipment, including chainmail leggings, must be worn.

However, the court heard that when the incident occurred no members of staff were certified as competent to use a chainsaw, and Mr Dorricott had not been wearing adequate personal protective equipment.

What was the outcome?

Enviroclean (Scotland) Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £7,000.

HSE Inspector, Jennie Stafford, said:

“Hand-held chainsaws are dangerous machines which must be handled with
the greatest care. That is why it is a legal requirement
to ensure that users are adequately trained
by a competent person.

“It is clear this incident could have been avoided had Enviroclean (Scotland)
Ltd taken reasonably practicable steps – ensuring that only trained and
competent users were allowed to operate the chainsaw; discussing the
risk assessment with workers, clarifying the system of work and
enforcing the wearing of appropriate personal
protective equipment.

“However, the company failed to do this and instead, Mr Dorricott
suffered a painful injury.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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