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Burton builder fined after chainsaw injures contractor

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries 

A Burton upon Trent builder has been fined for dangerous working practices and for failing to report an incident after a Derbyshire worker seriously injured his hand on a chainsaw.

The worker caught his left hand on the moving teeth of the machine after it snagged during work to cut felled trees. His thumb was cut to the bone, breaking the joint, and he also injured his fingers. He was unable to work for six weeks.

Stafford Magistrates Court heard that in March 2012 the worker had been sub-contracted to clear trees as part of a scheme to build a wall along the driveway of the company’s premises.

The builder was using the chainsaw while the injured worker held the log steady at a distance of just 30cms. The blade “snatched” a log during a cut and his hand was pulled towards it.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the builder failed to follow basic working practices for safely using a chainsaw, such as providing supports for the log and maintaining a distance of five metres between the chainsaw and other workers.

Furthermore, the builder did not inform HSE of the incident, despite it being reportable under the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) regulations.


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