The owner of a farm has been fined £1600 and ordered to pay £1400 in costs after a part time worker on the farm suffered severe personal injury whilst using a chainsaw. Mr Dennis, 49, from Middleton, near Saxmundham, was cutting back an overgrown hedge when the accident happened in October 2009.
Although Mr Dennis had many years experience using chainsaw equipment, he had been given no formal training or supervision for the chainsaw he was using for the task. He was also working alone and some distance from other farm workers and had to alert passing motorists when the chainsaw fell onto his elbow with a branch, severing an artery and tendon.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation also found that there had been no proper safety assessment.
Peter Haste, the owner of Hill Farm in Suffolk, admitted breaching Section 2(1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Section 2 (1) of the Act states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees."
The Health and Safety Inspector commented that the incident was entirely preventable, and that an effective assessment of risk must be carried out. Statistics released by the HSE last month showed that agriculture is the most dangerous industry in the UK.
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