On the 23rd September 2011 Connor Harfield was working for a Tree Surgeon in Minehead, UK. He was using a wood chipper and, in an effort to push more brush through the chipper, he used his foot. Unfortunately, his shoe got caught in the chipper and his foot was pulled into the rotating blades. Connor lost most of his toes and has been left disabled.
When the accident occurred, Connor was only in his third week of work after leaving school. After the accident he was left disabled, depressed and suffering with post traumatic stress disorder.
After thorough investigation, the Health and Safety Executive found that the wood chipper that Connor was using had not been properly maintained, that there was a safety bar missing from the chipper and that Connor had been given no formal safety training. As a result of this investigation, Calibra Tree Surgeons, the company Connor was working for, were fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £5,973 in costs.
The director of Calibra Tree Surgeons has shown deep regret since the accident. As well as expressing deep regret and empathy for Connor’s situation, Mr Grubb has also explained how the accident has prompted him to drastically change the way the company operates. Since the accident he has implemented a policy which only allows the company to employ workers over the age of 18. He also now insists that all employees have formal training if they are going to be using either a chainsaw or wood chipper.
Mr Grubb said:
“We have learnt so much from this unfortunate experience. Our whole health and safety manual has been rewritten to protect the employee and to protect us as well.”
Though it was tragic for someone so young to have this sort of accident, it seems as though the company in question is determined that it won’t happen again. Let’s hope that other companies also take note.
If you have been injured at work you could make an accident at work compensation claim with Compensation Claim Today.