Tree Surgeon Fined £10,000 For ‘life-changing’ Chainsaw Injury

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A tree surgeon has been fined £10,000 after he accidentally cut his 16-year-old worker’s hand with a chainsaw.

Dominic Di Pasquale was cutting down trees with the apprentice at a house in Pollokshields, Glasgow in 2018.

The chainsaw he was using jammed before cutting the boy’s right hand deeply along his knuckles – an injury which prosecutors said was “life-changing”.

Di Pasquale, 41, pleaded guilty to health and safety at work failings at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The 16-year-old was working with Di Pasquale, a sole trader from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, on 19 March, 2018.

Prosecutors said that the teenager was not given any training when he started working with Di Pasquale, and there was not a suitable system in place to make sure that employees stayed a safe distance from each other.

Di Pasquale was felling trees with the chainsaw while the boy picked up the branches, however one of the branches he picked up had not yet been cut.

As the tree surgeon continued to cut the saw jammed, which pulled the branch and the teenager’s arm towards it and cut into his right hand from index finger to little finger.

Di Pasquale took the boy to hospital where he received surgery – doctors have since performed three more operations to try to restore the use of his hand.

‘Unacceptable risk’
The injury has left the teenager struggling to tie his shoelaces and he cannot use a keyboard. He has been advised to use an adapted steering wheel for driving.

Alistair Duncan, head of the health and safety investigation unit, said Di Pasquale had put his employee at “unacceptable risk”.

He added: “This young man was left with a painful injury that has affected his dexterity and mental health, and had a life-changing impact.

“If he had received basic training, this accident could well have been prevented.”

Speaking after the hearing, Di Pasquale said: “It’s an unfortunate situation and the accident happened.

“I’ve already said all my apologies to everyone involved.

This article was first published on this site.

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