College fined after tree felling injury

A college in Surrey has been fined after a student was struck on the leg by a tree as it was being felled.

Redhill Magistrates’ Court heard how the campus supervisor of Guildford College instructed an employee and part of the estates team, to take two work experience students to fell a tree.

While the tree was being cut two students arrived to observe the operation. The falling tree hit one of the students who was observing, causing fractures to one of his legs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident, which occurred on 5 May 2015, found that there was insufficient training given to fell the tree competently. There was inadequate supervision and the risk assessments were not sufficient and had not been followed.

Guildford College of Further Education of Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and were fined £70,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,461.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: 
  3. HSE news releases are available at


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