A tree loping business has came to court to plead guilty regarding the case of one of their employees who lost his leg after an unfortunate accident happened last year. The company claimed that they are guilty for not providing a safer work area for the worker.
The tree lopping business is known as Ben’s Tree Services Pty Ltd which has been charged with a single case by the Darwin Local Court and the company has pleaded guilty. They will get a maximum fine amounting to $1.5 million.
According to the prosecutor, Helena Blundell, there were tree loppers that were working during the incident and along with it is the only director of the company – Ben Atkinson. They were providing services at Wildman Wilderness Lodge located in Kakadu last March 24 when the accident occurred.
Once lunch was over, two laborers working for the lodge along with the victim named Phillip Ferguson were asked to help in the work the tree loppers are doing.
Ms. Blundell shared that a certain object, believed to be a part of a rope was stuck inside the woodchipper which then wrapped around the left leg of Mr. Ferguson. This incident resulted to him getting a traumatic amputation.
The company is in agreement that they were not able to adhere with the Work Health Safety Act because there is not barrier or a marker found around the surrounding of the work area. They also failed to provide any briefings to both of the helpers regarding the proper ways of working safely when in close proximity to a woodchipper.
Jon Tippett who also works for the company said that the accident was not something that could have been foreseen. He shared how they are baffled how the accident occurred considering that the injured party was not even close to the chipper – he was at least 10 to 20 meters away.
A conviction was given to the company and they were fined with $15,000.
For people hiring tree loppers in Perth, make sure that you are working with professional staff to avoid such accidents from happening.