Dangerous Working Practices with a Chainsaw

A building company in Burton upon Trent has been fined for breaching health and safety procedures and for failing to report an incident after a worker in Derbyshire suffered severe injuries to his hand when working with a chainsaw.

The worker, who did not want to be named, was working with Gary Wardle who is the director of Wardle Site Services Ltd. They were clearing trees as part of a project to build a wall along the premises of the company in Staphenhill. Mr. Wardle was operating the chainsaw in order to cut some trees which had been felled and the worker was holding the log steady only 30cms away. The chainsaw snagged on a log during a cut and caught his left hand on the moving teeth, which caused his thumb to be sliced down to the bone and the joint to be broken. He also suffered injuries to his other fingers. His injuries put him out of work for six weeks.

Mr. Wardle was using the chainsaw in an unsafe manner, as was determined by an investigation from the Health and Safety Executive. He had failed to follow the basic working procedures for using this type of power tool, such as providing the appropriate supports for the log. It is also a health and safety requirement that all other workers should be at least five metres away from the chainsaw when it is in operation. To make matters worse, Mr. Wardle failed to the report the incident to the HSE.

As a result of the health and safety investigation, Gary Wardle will be fined £2,500 as well as being required to pay £2,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act as well as for not reporting the incident.

Working with a chainsaw or other power tools has the potential to be very dangerous and to cause bodily harm and even death, which is why it is so important to follow the appropriate health and safety regulations and to ensure that all employees receive adequate health and safety training on the correct procedure.

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