Bosses given suspended sentences

It is vitally important to maintain proper safety practices. Fail to do so and you may be personally accountable…

In an example case, bosses of a fencing firm have been given suspended sentences after a worker was injured.

The worker was dipping timber in preservative when struck by some posts that fell off a forklift.

Unsuitable work method 

The court heard the method of working was unsuitable for the work being done.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found:

  • equipment was unsuitable for the task
  • the forklift driver had not been properly trained on operating the truck
  • the truck had not been examined to the required standards

Sentence 

The two owners of Hoo Farm Fencing, Maurice James Blackford and Susan Hawthorne, admitted breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Both were given 18 week prison sentences suspended for two years and each fined £10,000. Prosecution costs of £4,300 were split between them.

The HSE said their safety failings were serious and could have resulted in much more severe injury.

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