• Robert Spicer

Workplace forklift truck injury: suspended prison sentences

Forklift incident: serious injuries: suspended sentences for employers [remove for online]

Health and Safety Executive v Maurice James Blackford and Susan Hawthorne (2017) Worcester magistrates’ court, February 2

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

The owners of a fencing company have received suspended prison sentences following an incident in which a worker suffered serious injuries.

The facts

· In February 2016 Raymond Lansbury, an employee of the company, was helping to dip timber posts and frames in preservative. The timber fell from a metal frame of a forklift truck and struck him. He suffered serious injuries and still requires physiotherapy treatment.

· The company had not been using suitable equipment for the work. the forklift truck operator had not been properly trained and the vehicle had not been thoroughly examined up to required standards.

The decision

Blackford and Hawthorne were each fined £10,000 and sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years, plus a total of £4300 costs for breaches of s. 2 HSWA for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

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