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Brush Cutter Incident Kills Worker

Fatal Accident At Work


A worker died after a chain flail attached to a brush cutter came loose and struck them on the head, the Health and Safety Executive has said.

An urgent warning has been released by the watchdog about the use of chain flail and non-standard accessories on brush cutters following the fatal accident, which is still being investigated.

HSE added UK suppliers should immediately cease the supply of such chain flail attachments, whether they are intended for professional use or not.

Non-standard metal brush-cutting accessories which are attached to petrol-driven brush cutters can fail catastrophically in-service, the HSE said.

If a metal component becomes loose at high energy and speed there is a very real risk of serious injury or even death to people in the vicinity. These accessories are manufactured from more than one component and rotate at high speeds.

Anyone using them should discontinue use of any non-standard metal cutting accessory immediately and consult the brush cutter manufacturer for guidance.

HSE said: "In contrast with dedicated chain flail machinery, brush cutters typically lack the robust guarding arrangements required to control the risk from articles (including fragments of chain) being ejected with high energy."

The fatal incident involved the use of a twin-chain attachment.

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David Urpeth, an accident at work lawyer from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This was a horrific fatal accident at work.

“The circumstances of this work accident are currently being investigated.

“Generally however, employers have a duty to provide suitable and safe work equipment which is properly maintained.  If they fail to do so, and a worker is injured or killed in a work accident, then the worker may be able to claim compensation for the injuries and losses sustained."

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury compensation solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. For more information visit our fatal accident claims or workplace accident claims page.