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Suspended Sentence For Fencing Firm Owners

The two owners of a Kidderminster fencing maker have been handed suspended sentences after an employee was hit by timber posts and frames which fell from a forklift truck.

Maurice James Blackford of Minster Road, Stourport, and Susan Hawthorne of Blackthorne House, own Hoo Farm Fencing.

They appeared at Worcester Magistrates’ Court after 49-year-old worker Raymond Lainsbury suffered injuries as a result of the injury on 12 February 2016. He requires regular physiotherapy sessions.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had not been using the suitable equipment for the task, which involved Lainsbury helping to dip the timber in preservatives.

Blackford and Hawthorne both pled guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

They were sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and fined £10,000 each. Costs of £4318 split between the two defendants were awarded to the HSE.

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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