July 26, 2016

Man needed 60 stitches after health and safety failings

A borough council in London has been fined half a million pounds after one of its road workers suffered a serious injury whilst cutting trees.

Southwark Crown Court heard how the man, employed by the London Borough of Havering, had badly cut his leg.

It later emerged that the Stihl cut-off saw which the 58-year-old had been using to cut tree roots and branches was fitted with an inappropriate blade.

The device became stuck and, on pulling it free, the sharp edge ran across the top of his left knee.

The wound damaged ligaments and cartilage and the worker, who has not been named, was left in need of 60 stitches.

Following the incident in March last year, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the wrong equipment was being used for the task. In addition, no risk assessment had been conducted for the use of the saw and blade.

The London Borough of Havering, based in Romford, pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £500,000. The council must also pay costs of £8,240.

A spokesman for the local authority said: “The council pleaded guilty in this case and accepts that it was at fault for this accident. However, the council is considering an appeal in respect of the level of fine imposed by the court.”

At Royds we can advise on a wide range of matters relating to health and safety legislation. For further advice please contact Kevin James or visit. We also have a wealth of experience representing clients in respect of accidents in the workplace. For more information please email James Millar Craig.

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