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company owners receive suspended sentences

work safeThe two owners of Kidderminster based fencing firm Hoo Farm Fencing have been given suspended sentences after a worker was hit by timber posts and frames which fell from a fork lift truck.

Forty-nine year old Raymond Lainsbury suffered injuries that still require regular physiotherapy sessions following the incident on 12 February 2016.

Worcester Magistrates’ Court heard how Hoo Farm Fencing’s method of working was unsuitable for the task they were carrying out at the time of the incident. Mr Lainsbury was helping to dip timber posts and frames in preservative, when they fell from the metal frame on the fork lift truck, striking him.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the company had not been using the suitable equipment for the task. The operator had not been properly trained to operate a fork lift truck. The company also failed to have the fork lift truck in question thoroughly examined up to required standards.

Maurice James Blackford of Minster Road, Stourport, Kidderminster pled guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Susan Hawthorne of Blackthorne House, Hartlebury Road pled guilty to the same breach.

Both were sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and fined £10,000 each. Full Prosecution costs of £4318 split between the two defendants, were awarded to the Health and Safety Executive that prosecuted the case.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Tariq Khan said “The seriousness of the safety failings could have resulted in much more severe injuries to Mr Lainsbury who was lucky to walk away from this incident. This case highlights the importance of maintaining proper safety practices and also all duty holders will be held accountable for failing to do so.”

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