One County Durham man working as a grounds man for the local council lost his arm in a devastating accident at work after a piece of his clothing became entangled in a power-fed wood chipper, work accident claim experts recently reported.
Shaun Talbot, twenty five years of age, had been feeding hedge cuttings into the wood chipping machine when his arm was dragged inside after either his high visibility jacket or his gloves became entangled in the chipper’s mechanism. Mr Talbot, a Ferryhill native, was rushed to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital after his work colleagues frantically worked to cut off the power running to the machine, but medical experts at the hospital had no choice but to amputate his arm just below the shoulder after it proved impossible to save the appendage, according to accident claim experts familiar with the case.
The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s life-changing injuries, culminating with the prosecution of Durham County Council for safety failings at Darlington Magistrates’ Court. The local authority admitted breaching health and safety regulations at the hearing and was fined a sum of £13,000 for their role in the man’s severe and debilitating injuries.
One HSE inspector commented to the press in the aftermath of the court hearing, remarking that the incident could have been avoided completely if the council had simply followed guidelines for using wood chippers. The local authority has since reviewed its practices, with staff now being issued clothing and gloves designed to resist snags on dangerous machinery such as wood chippers.
Mr Talbot may be considering a personal injury compensation claim against Durham County Council for his injuries.