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  3. Suspended prison sentence handed to owners of fencing business following worker's injury

The owners of a fencing company based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire have been handed a prison sentence and a fine following an incident that left a worker with serious injuries.

The worker at Hoo Farm Fencing, had been helping colleagues to dip timber frames and posts in preservative when the incident occurred in February 2016. Raymond Lainsbury, 49, was struck by the frames and posts as they fell from the fork lift truck. The injuries incurred by Lainsbury were so severe, he is still receiving physiotherapy.

An investigation was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which discovered that the method of work being used to carry out the task was completely unsuitable. The correct equipment was not being used and the operator of the forklift truck had not been properly trained. In addition, the fork lift truck had not been maintained to the correct standard.

Company owners Maurice Blackford and Susan Hawthorne were both given an 18-week sentence, suspended for two years. The pair were also fined £10,000 each and ordered to pay costs of £4,318. According to the inspector for HSE, Tariq Khan, the safety failings of the firm could have resulted in much more serious injuries for the worker, who the inspector said was lucky to walk away.

Along with other measures, the use of personal protective equipment should be used by all workers where necessary, and procedures must be in place to ensure this.

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