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Scottish firm sentenced after worker’s leg injured by chainsaw

A Scottish firm has been fined £7,000 after a worker was injured when a chainsaw hit him on the leg as he slipped while felling trees.

Hugh Dorricot, then aged 26, was not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and was not adequately trained to use a chainsaw when the incident took place at Gartsherrie Burn, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on 9th March 2010.

Airdrie Sheriff Court was told that Mr Dorricott was working for Enviroclean (Scotland) Ltd to clear vegetation and trees from an embankment beside Gartsherrie Burn, which sloped at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.

As he began to fell one of the trees, Mr Dorricott felt the ground move away from beneath his feet causing him to fall backwards and start sliding down the embankment. As he fell, the moving chainsaw cut through his trousers and into his lower left leg.

He was taken to hospital with a deep cut near his knee and underwent an operation to repair the wound. He has since recovered and returned to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a risk assessment produced by Enviroclean for using a chainsaw stated that all employees must be properly instructed, trained and supervised, and that personal protective equipment, including chainmail leggings, must be worn.

However, HSE Inspectors discovered that no employees of the company had been certified as competent to use a chainsaw, and that Mr Dorricott was not wearing adequate personal protective equipment.

Enviroclean (Scotland) Ltd, of Hawbank Road, East Kilbride, was fined £7,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Inspector Jennie Stafford, said that hand-held chainsaws are dangerous machines which must be handled with the greatest care.

“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,” she said.

“However, the company failed to do this and instead, Mr Dorricott suffered a painful injury.”

If you have suffered an injury in an accident that was not your fault then you could be entitled to compensation.

Contact Lloyd Green Solicitors on 0800 015 5500 for more information.