Council fined £300,000 over fallen Oak tree

Council fined £300,000 over fallen Oak tree

February 3, 2022

A council has been fined in-relation to an accident in which a man was killed by a fallen oak tree.

In October 2019 a member of the public was walking his dog on a well-used trail when he was struck by a falling bough of an Oak tree and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

An investigation by the HSE found that the Oak tree had defects, which might have meant branches could fall and due to its location in a well-used area it was possible someone could be injured.

Despite the council being aware of its duty to carry out periodic tree safety inspections, the trees on this trail were not on the list and no proactive inspection had occurred for at least 10 years.  If the error on not monitoring the trees had been noticed this tree could have been inspected along with the others on the same trail, which had been complained about or due to fallen branches.

Where there have been incidents of falling trees or branches on your land, it’s important to reinspect the remaining trees and check that your ongoing inspection programme is adequate.

It’s important to consider where trees are on your land, the risk that they may present to staff, customers, the public and others – apply a reasonable approach to the management of the risk & keep inspection reports and zone maps.

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