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Serious Injuries to Worker Result in Huge Fines for Tree Surgeon
Posted by David Cant on September 21, 2011

Health and safety services are available to all self-employed individuals as well as larger companies in the UK. As so many companies are fined and even imprisoned after their workers suffer injuries at the workplace it is hard to imagine any business owner ignoring the health and safety consultants and turning a blind eye to the potential accidents that could occur.  Furthermore, with many more people making personal injury claims for injuries that happen at work, it is essential that health and safety services are taken very seriously.

Many Professions Involve Using Highly Sophisticated and Dangerous Machinery

Like many professions tree surgeons work with extremely dangerous machinery day in and day out. Operating the equipment needs vigilance and the correct training.  While working with dangerous machinery it is also essential that the correct gear is worn to help prevent any accidents from occurring.

Lack of Training Leaves Tree Surgeon With a Fine

A tree surgeon in Kent has recently been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after one of their employees was horrifically injured on the job.  David Dyer, aged 30 managed to get his trouser leg caught in a tree stump grinder that was left on by Richard Curteis, his employer.

While Mr Curties was grinding six tree stumps he temporarily left the machine running and left the equipment running. Mr Dyer walked next to the grinder and his clothing got caught which resulted in his leg being seriously injured after being pulled into the machine. He broke his leg and damaged his muscles which meant a long period in hospital spanning many weeks. After numerous operations his leg was reconstructed although it is unclear whether he will be able to return to his old profession as a tree surgeon.

The investigation that followed showed that Mr Cuties from Aspen Tree Services did not have the correct training of how to use the machine and that the method of work he was following was unsafe.  As a result he was fined £5,000 for breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. In addition to his fine he also has to pay the costs which amount to £3,679.

Prevent Accidents By Getting Trained

The health inspector, Paul Vinnicombe, spoke to the press after the hearing and said that this case was a reminder of how hazardous the equipment used by tree surgeons is. He highlighted the fact that the correct training must be provided to help stop accidents from happening.

Health and safety training is vital in any profession.  As an employer it is down to you to follow the laws and the regulations that are in place to protect both you the owner and the employees. Failing to provide adequate training will result in prosecution, fines and could even mean a prison sentence.

If you would like to evaluate your health and safety procedures and training it is advisable to contact the health and safety consultants.  They will be able to explain your duties and show areas where you are putting yourself and others at risk. Veritas Consultants offer a wide range of health and safety services. Call 0800 1488 677 to find out more.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Services, Health and Safety Training, Workplace Safety


  1. October 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Very Intresting post!
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  2. October 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    this is very helpful
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