Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

October 20, 2014

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East Kilbride firm sentenced after worker hit by chainsaw

Enviroclean (Scotland) Ltd has been fined £7,000 for safety failings after a worker was injured when a chainsaw hit him on the leg as he slipped while felling trees. The HSE investigation which followed showed that the worker was not wearing adequate PPE nor was he competent to operate the chainsaw.

Hugh Dorricot, then aged 26, was clearing vegetation and trees from an embankment beside Gartsherrie Burn near Gartsherrie Road, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on 9 March 2010 when the incident occurred.

Airdrie Sheriff Court was told on 15 October that the embankment sloped at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. As Mr Dorricott began to fell one of the trees, he felt the ground move away from beneath his feet causing him to fall backwards and start sliding down the embankment. As he fell, the moving chainsaw cut through his trousers and into his lower left leg.

He was taken to hospital with a deep cut near his knee and underwent an operation to repair the wound. He has since recovered and returned to work.

The HSE investigation found that a risk assessment produced by Enviroclean for using a chainsaw stated that all employees must be properly instructed, trained and supervised, and that personal protective equipment, including chainmail leggings, must be worn.

However, HSE inspectors discovered that at the time of the incident no employees of the company were certified as competent to use a chainsaw, and that Mr Dorricott was not wearing adequate personal protective equipment. In addition, he was not made aware of the risks involved in carrying out the job.

Enviroclean (Scotland) Ltd, of Hawbank Road, East Kilbride, was fined £7,000 after pleading guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Following the case, 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.”

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Olin Robinson
Olin Robinson
8 years ago

Chainsaw is a common and powerful type of tools. In order to use it, it’s very essential to have an adequate train course before start to avoid regrettable accidents.