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HSE prosecution after tree fall death

A property investment company (£80,000 + £12,700 costs) and its director (£40,000 + £6,350) have been fined after a worker fell from a tree causing fatal injuries.

It is all too easy, especially where cost is the over-riding factor, to be tempted to engage the local farmer, a ‘bloke down the pub’ or a neighbour who owns a chainsaw to carryout tree work.

Where buildings, utility cables, highways, rights of way are within the hazard area or where the task is a ‘workplace activity’ there is no substitute, nor excuse as demonstrated by this HSE prosecution, for failing to ensure that those undertaking dangerous work are suitably trained, experienced and certified to the industry standard.

Similarly it is imperative to understand and abide by statutory requirements before undertaking tree works.

The Town and Country Planning Act details the primary legislation for trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and works within a Conservation Area (CA) and the Forestry Act includes certain restriction on volume which may be felled.

In recognition of consistent and meticulous administrative accuracy and compliancy with statutory requirement (getting it right first time, every time) Empire Tree & Garden Services has been accredited as a Cornwall council “fast-track agent” and a Planning Portal “Planning Champion” for planning applications; all applications received will be fast-tracked through validation and registration.

Chainsaws are DANGEROUS