Health and Safety News

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Council fined after worker loses arm in wood chipper

Durham County Council has been prosecuted for safety failings after a grounds-man's arm was severed in a wood chipper machine.

The 25-year-old council worker, from Ferryhill, who does not wish to be named, was cutting back bushes near Atherton Close, Spennymoor when the incident occurred on 4 August 2009.

The court heard, he was feeding the trimmings from the bushes into a mobile power-fed wood chipper when his glove or sleeve became caught pulling his left arm into the machine. Colleagues were able to shut off the power but his arm had been severed at the shoulder.

Durham County Council, of County Hall, Durham was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £8,212.50 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.


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