Tree felling is an obviously high risk activity, requiring knowledge, expertise and the right equipment. It is important to provide operatives with adequate health and safety training so they are able to carry out tree felling work in a safe and effective way.
Unfortunately, this was not the case in Worksop in 2009, where a sixty year old man was participating in the felling of a large tree. The tree did not fall in the direction the workers had anticipated, and fell onto the tractor the man was standing next to at the time. The tractor toppled over, crushing the man to death.
A trustee of the estate where the accident occurred has since been prosecuted for failing to prevent the incident and for failing to ensure that the man received adequate training for the equipment he had to use.
He was fined a total of ten thousand pounds and ordered to pay costs in excess of twenty thousand pounds.
This kind of work should never be undertaken lightly and health and safety regulations exist and are put in place precisely to reduce the risk posed by such activities to workers.