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Suspended sentences for business owners

Lifting operation left worker severely injured

Prison sentence for company director

 

Suspended sentences for business owners

Guardian Compliance has learned that 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 HSE 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 £4,318 were split between the two defendants.

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.”

HSE, February 2017

 

Lifting operation left worker severely injured

An engineering firm has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.

Cleckheaton firm H E Realisations Ltd (now in liquidation, formerly Hogg Engineering Ltd) pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Reg 8(1) of the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

Gateshead Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 February 2015, Kevin Tait was using equipment to lift an 18 tonne steel roll at the company’s premises at Carlington Court, Factory Road, Blaydon-onTyne.

Guardian Compliance understand the equipment being used was not suitable for the lifting operation due to the fact that the load being lifted exceeded the equipment’s safe working load.

During the lift, part of one of the shortening clutches sheared causing the load to swing and strike Mr Tait on the head. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court the lifting operation had not been suitably planned and the equipment in use was poorly maintained.

H E Realisations Ltd of Moorland House, Snelisins Road, Cleckheaton was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £2230 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Catterall commented: “Lifting operations are hazardous and require a competent person to properly plan and supervise them to ensure that suitable and properly maintained equipment is used in the right configuration to avoid exceeding safe working loads.

“Kevin is incredibly lucky that he was not killed in this incident and he has suffered permanent life changing injuries as a result. This workplace accident has changed the lives of Kevin and his family irrevocably.”

HSE, February 2017

 

Prison sentence for company director

The director of a construction company has been imprisoned for eight months after failing to take appropriate action which resulted in a young worker receiving serious burns.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the young worker was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to help it to burn. The fireball that resulted when the thinners ignited caused the worker to be blown from the skip and he suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company director:

  • did not ensure the burning of the waste material was being carried out in a safe or appropriate manner
  • failed to administer any first aid to the young injured worker and did not send him to hospital, the most appropriate response given the severity of the injuries suffered
  • failed to inform HSE of the incident, a legal requirement, and the incident was only reported sometime later by a third party.

David Gordon Stead of Mildred Street, Beddau, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and also pled guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and was sentenced to 32 weeks imprisonment, half on release under licence. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Adele Davies said “David Stead failed his employees. His actions could have resulted in the death of this worker. The young man suffered unnecessary life threatening injuries due to poor working standards.

“We hope this sentence sends out a message that directors of businesses must take their health and safety responsibilities seriously.”

HSE, February 2017

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