North Shore man fined $16,500 for causing tree felling incident

Media Release | 25/09/2018

A North Shore landscaper has been fined $16,500 for not having appropriate safe work systems in place when felling two Tallowwood trees that caused $130,000 worth of damage to a neighbouring house.

Executive Director of SafeWork Tony Williams said 47-year-old Daniel a’Beckett Rose pleaded guilty in the NSW District Court to three counts of contravening the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The charges came after a tree felling incident at East Gosford in November 2015, which Mr Rose did not report to SafeWork NSW until January 2016.

Mr Williams said Mr Rose failed to ensure the health and safety of his three workers on site, and put the lives of three residents in the vicinity at risk by not setting up and enforcing an appropriate safety exclusion zone.

“One of the residents who lives across the street, who also happens to be a qualified arborist, tried to intervene when it became obvious that Mr Rose wasn’t following correct tree felling procedures,” Mr Williams said.

“Just moments later, a massive tree that was about 30 metres tall came down in the wrong direction and crashed onto a neighbouring home.

“It caused significant damage to the roof and front façade of the home and it’s a miracle nobody was hurt,” said Mr Williams.

The court heard Mr Rose, who mostly does landscaping work, was not an experienced arborist and had failed to carry out an adequate tree-risk assessment.

“The man had attempted to cut down the tree without taking into consideration its natural lean, so this huge tree fell down in the wrong area,” Mr Williams said.

“Tree felling work is inherently dangerous and people who need trees removed should check the people they’re hiring are not only qualified, but also insured to do the job.”

In 2017/18 SafeWork NSW progressed 59 successful work health and safety prosecutions resulting in $4.1 million in fines. Mr Rose has the right to lodge an appeal.

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