Last reviewed 30 November 2021
A self-employed tree surgeon has been fined after his 16-year-old employee suffered life-changing injuries following a chainsaw incident.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how on 19 March 2018 at a domestic property in Glasgow, Dominic Di Pasquale, trading as Treetops Tree Surgeons, was using a chainsaw to fell trees and then remove the branches while his employee collected the sections.
As Mr Di Pasquale began to remove one of the branches, the young worker attempted to pick it up unaware that it was still attached to the felled tree. The chainsaw jammed, pulling his right arm into the blade and he sustained a partial amputation of his index finger and deep lacerations to his dominant hand, requiring multiple operations over a three-year period.
These life-changing injuries have left the young man permanently disfigured.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Di Pasquale failed to provide a safe system of work which ensured chainsaw operators maintained safe working distances from other employees to prevent them coming into contact with the blade.
He pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kim Ross said: “This case particularly highlights the importance of protecting young workers who may be less familiar with risks in the workplace. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action, especially when young people are put at risk.”