Company Prosecuted Over Chainsaw Accident

Worker Injured While Felling Trees In Lanarkshire


A company based in East Kilbride has been prosecuted over an accident that led to one of its staff being injured with a chainsaw.

The injuries were suffered by Hugh Dorricot, who was aged 26 at the time of the incident in 2010, as he was cutting down trees on behalf of employer Enviroclean (Scotland).

He was working to clear trees and vegetation from an embankment next to Gartsherrie Burn, next to a road in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, when he slipped on the 45 degree slope.

As Mr Dorricot slipped backwards the chainsaw hit his leg, slicing through his trousers and gashing his lower left leg just below the knee.

He was taken to hospital for surgery on the wound and has since returned to work.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Enviroclean had carried out a risk assessment, but had failed to respond adequately to its findings. The assessment had concluded all staff using chainsaws needed to be properly trained, supervised and provided with protective clothing, the latter stipulation including chainmail leggings.

However, the HSE discovered that when the incident happened none of the staff using chainsaws had been certified to do so. Mr Dorricot had not been given safety training and was wearing no safety equipment.

Enviroclean (Scotland) pleaded guilty in the hearing at Airdrie Sheriff Court to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £7,000.

Commenting on the case, HSE inspector Jennie Stafford noted that it is a "legal requirement" for companies to be trained to use chainsaws properly.

She added: "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."

According to the HSE, there have been five fatal injuries caused by work with chainsaws in the UK in recent years, as well as numerous serious injuries.

Our personal injury solicitors in Scotland specialise in a number of serious injury and illness claims, if you or a loved one have been affected call us on 0808 250 7641 for a free initial consultation.