Lack of training and protection sees grower awarded six-figure fine for employee's chainsaw injury

An Essex salad growing company has been given a substantial fine after an employee was seriously injured while using a chainsaw on the nursery.

Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard that an employee of Growing Green of Brentwood suffered deep cuts to his arm while working with another colleague to remove tree branches on the site on 6 April 2016.

The unnamed man sustained a deep cut when his arm landed on top of the moving chainsaw blade.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither man had been trained to operate the chainsaw, nor were the pair wearing any personal protective equipment such as chainsaw trousers and jacket, chainsaw gloves, safety helmet, safety boots and eye protection.

Nor had any planning or supervision been put in place.

Pleading guilty, Growing Green was fined £120,000, including a £170 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay costs of £1,864.35.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Tania van Rixtel said: "This incident could have easily been avoided if the company had adopted a safe method of working that did not put an employee in the direct line of the moving chainsaw. It was only luck that the gentleman did not lose his arm."

She added: "Companies are reminded that even occasional and ‘one-off’ jobs need to be properly planned to ensure the correct control measures are in place."

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