Archive for November, 2014

Fine Issued to Tree Surgeon for Lack of Adequate Personal Protection Equipment

November 22nd, 2014 | By licnewsadmin

A £10,000 fine has been issued to an amateur tree surgeon after he fell onto a colleague whilst still holding a chainsaw that was on.

The man, Gilbert Bradfield, seventy-one of Clacton-On-Sea in Essex was doing a job in Little Oakley, Harwich, when the accident occurred. Whilst Mr Bradfield was cutting a four-metre-tall tree, the section that he had just cut fell on him and caused him too to fall from the height, with the chainsaw in his hands still running.

As Mr Bradfield fell onto his colleague, who had been at the base of the ladder, he was left relatively unharmed after the incident, despite his lack of protective gear. Yet the seventy-two year-old man who broke his fall was not so fortunate, sustaining severe lacerations to his head, a punctured lung, other internal injuries and a dislocated shoulder.

The man, who has remained anonymous, had to stay in hospital for four days after the accident. Yet even after he was discharged, he collapse at his home, resulting in another two dislocated shoulders and forcing him to stay a further eight weeks in hospital because he contracted a chest infection. His injuries have left him with limited mobility in his arms and in need of constant care.

The Health and Safety Executive conducted an investigation into the incident, after which Mr Bradfield was prosecuted because of his neglect to use personal safety equipment and for breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The case was heard at the Colchester Magistrates Court, where Mr Bradfield plead guilty to the charges. Neither he nor his colleague employed the use of ropes or harnesses in their work, and they also did not have a certificate of competence allowing them to use a chainsaw for tree surgery.

Mr Bradfield was issued a £10,000 fine, plus costs, for his lack of protective equipment. After the hearing, Inspector for the SHE Anthony Brookes stated:  “Tree work is a hazardous occupation and it is essential that the risks are recognised.  In the last ten years, 24 tree surgeons have been killed and 1,400 have been injured.  The HSE website has a dedicated area that provides advice on training and safe working methods in the industry”.


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