Treescape Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
16 December 2013
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$24,750

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Appropriately control the hazard, namely by fitting an adequate guard to the machine.
  2. Comply with the Australian standard AS4024 for guarding machinery namely to:
    1. Extend the chipper chute to 1500mm.
    2. Provide employees with dedicated push sticks to use when required to push smaller debris into the chipper.
    3. Train chipper operators on safe procedure when there is not a dedicated push stick available.
    4. Ensure that last chance cords and/or emergency stop devices were installed and operational on the chipper machine.

Defendant name:
Treescape Limited
 
Industry:
Forestry
 
Date of offence:
16 December 2013
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant is a large tree maintenance company. It has a maintenance contract with Vector Ltd to provide vegetation clearing services to Vector. An employee of the company was employed as an arborist. The Defendant used a chipper machine to dispose of the tree debris created as a result of the maintenance work.

On 16 December 2013, the employee was working as part of a Treescape crew removing a roadside tree that was near power lined. He was the ground worker and was in charge of the operating the wood chipper. After the last large branches had been fed into the chipper, he noticed several small branches that had not been picked up by the in feed rollers. He used his right foot to kick the branches into the rollers. At the same time the left leg skidded on some loose gravel and his right foot was pulled in by the rollers towards the rotating chipper blades. His right foot was pulled into the chipper.

As a result of his injuries, his right leg had to be amputated to below the knee joint.
 
Offence section:
Section 6 Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Manukau - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$24,750
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$35,000