A Berkshire teenager suffered devastating foot injuries while operating a badly maintained mobile wood chipper.
Eighteen year old Connor Harfield, from Bracknell, who was just sixteen at the time of the accident, had been working for Calibra Tree Surgeons Ltd, for a period of just three weeks, when he lost all five toes and part of his right foot, after being dragged into the machine.
Reading Magistrates’ Court, was told that the teenager was putting brush wood into the portable chipper and to try and speed up the process had placed his right foot into the feeding chute.
Unfortunately his shoe got caught in the machines feed rollers, dragging his foot into the mechanism and into the path of the wood chippers cutting blades.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the wood chipping equipment had been poorly maintained and an important safety bar was missing from the bottom of the feeding chute.
Calibra Tree Surgeons Ltd, of Bracknell, in Berkshire, was fined £7,000 with £5,973 in court costs, after admitting braches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.