Back injury at work after worker falls from tree

Farm worker to seek compensation after tree fall 2761

A man who fell more than four metres during an accident at work may opt to pursue personal injury compensation for his ordeal.

The unnamed 41-year-old was using a chainsaw to prune the branches of a tree on premises kept by farm owner Hamish Janson in Newton, east Hampshire, in June 2011 and fell after losing his balance.

He dropped onto a barn below the tree before rolling off to the ground below. Due to the fact his fall was broken by the building and then cushioned by a stack of felled branches on the floor, the professional escaped the incident with only minor back and neck injuries.

An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Janson had wanted the tree to be reduced in size as it was damaging the roof of the barn.

Even though nobody under his employment was trained to use chainsaws up a tree and also did not have the correct equipment to conduct this dangerous task safely, he instructed two of his workers to trim the tree.

Officials from the HSE told Aldershot Magistrates' Court this accident had been entirely preventable, as afterwards Mr Janson hired a group of professional tree surgeons who completed the task in less than an hour.

During the hearing, the farm owner admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,075 for his negligence.

Craig Varian, inspector at the safety watchdog, commented: "The activity taking place on site at the time of this incident was a complete and utter shambles. There were so many issues with the way the job was being done that it is hard to know where to start."

He went on to say that for an untrained worker to be straddled in a tree with no harness and using a large chainsaw "defies belief".

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801569509-ADNFCR