A fine has been issued after a trainee tree surgeon severed his thumb on a saw at work.
Rory Stamper was working in Harley Wintney in September 2011. He was using a log splitter to cut up logs when the accident happened. The log splitter required the trainee to hold the logs as they were cut.
However, whilst he was using the log splitter, he became distracted for a second and accidentally stepped on the foot pedal of the machine. This caused the blade of the splitter to descend and it cut through the tip of the thumb on his right hand.
Mr Stamper lost the tip of his thumb from the base of his nail in the incident. The injury meant that he had to take four weeks off work. He also now finds some everyday tasks, such as writing, difficult.
The Health and Safety Executive found that the log splitter did not comply with latest safety standards. These standards require the logs to be held in place by machinery and not by the operator. The controls should also have prevented accidental use, and no written risk assessment had been produced.
The director of Mr Stamper’s employers – Cedardale – was prosecuted recently for breaking work equipment and health and safety regulations in regards to the accident. The director was fined £4,000.