Tree surgeon fined £10,000 after teen worker cut by chainsaw

The 16-year-old, who had no training, had his hand cut from his index finger to his pinkie in the incident.

Tree surgeon fined £10,000 after teen worker cut by chainsaw iStock

​​A teenager had to give up his dream of joining the police after his hand was severely cut in a chainsaw accident at work.

The then 16-year-old was working for Dominic Di Pasquale’s company Treetop Tree Surgeons on March 19, 2018.

The boy was lifting up tree branches and picked up one that had not been chopped yet.

His arm was dragged towards a jammed chainsaw operated by tree surgeon, Di Pasquale.

The blade tore into his knuckles, index finger and pinkie leaving him severely injured.

As a result of his injury, the boy has problems with his fingers which prohibit him from certain activities.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard his injuries mean he “cannot pursue his goal of becoming a policeman.”

At Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Di Pasquale plead guilty to failings under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £10,000.

The court heard the boy was employed by Di Pasquale – a sole trader – between June 2017 and March 2018.

He worked five or six days a week and was paid in cash.

Di Pasquale’s firm was subcontracted to work at a property in the city’s Pollokshields to remove trees from the garden.

The boy was tasked with collecting branches from trees that were being cut with a chainsaw.

Prosecutor Pat Callander said: “One of the branches he picked up had not been cut yet.

“Di Pasquale continued to cut the branch with the chainsaw.

“As he cut the branch, the chainsaw jammed, pulling the branch and the boy’s right arm at it.

“The chain saw made contact with his right hand, cutting deeply into his index finger, cutting along his knuckles, cutting along his pinkie.”

The boy was taken to one hospital by Di Pasquale where the wound was bandaged before being rushed to a further hospital for surgery.

He was found to have various wounds including splintered bone fragments which extended through the wound.

There was also bone missing from his index finger and 60% division of the bone from the index to middle finger.

The surgery included repairs to the nerve and tendons on his index finger.

Ms Callander added: “His injuries are consistent with a chainsaw injury and the injuries are severe.”

The boy, who is right-handed, will be left with permanent disfigurement, a permanent scar and was in a cast for six to nine weeks.

He continues to have a stiff middle finger, cannot make a fist and the finger becomes sensitive in the cold.

The boy cannot do tasks such as tying his shoelaces, use a keyboard and struggles to do buttons.

Ms Callander said: “He cannot return to his previous sport of boxing and cannot pursue his goal of becoming a police officer.

“He couldn’t seek employment for a year and is self-conscious about the scar to his hand as it is a constant reminder to what he has lost.”

The boy has since become an apprentice glazier.

Sheriff Tom Hughes told the court that the circumstances are “extremely unfortunate” and there were “considerable consequences” for the boy.

He added that a fine was the “most appropriate” way to deal with the matter.

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