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Builder fined after man injured by a chainsaw

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

By ROB SMYTH

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A BURTON builder has been fined after a chainsaw he was using ripped through the hand of a contractor.

Gary Wardle, of Spa Court, Heath Road, Stapenhill, was handed the £2,500 fine following a hearing at Stafford Magistrates' Court following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

He was handed the fine for dangerous working practices and for failing to report an incident after Daniel Collins seriously injured his hand on a chainsaw during an incident on March 16 at Wardle Site Services, in Hill Street.

Mr Collins, of Swadlincote, caught his left hand on the moving teeth of the machine after it snagged during work to cut felled trees. His thumb was cut to the bone, breaking the joint, and he also injured his fingers. He was unable to work for six weeks.

Mr Wardle was using the chainsaw while the injured worker held the log steady at a distance of just 30cm. The blade 'snatched' a log during a cut and his hand was pulled towards it.

An investigation by the HSE found that Mr Wardle failed to follow basic working practices for safely using a chainsaw, such as providing supports for the log and maintaining a distance of five metres between the chainsaw and other workers.

Furthermore, Mr Wardle did not inform HSE of the incident, despite it being reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences regulations.

Magistrates heard Mr Collins had been sub-contracted by Mr Wardle to clear trees as part of a scheme to build a wall along the driveway of the company's premises.

Mr Wardle was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(2) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

HSE inspector Nic Rigby said: "The risks with a chainsaw are obvious.

"They are dangerous and can cause serious harm and Gary Wardle carried out work in a dangerous and reckless manner."

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