THE owners of a fencing firm in Kidderminster have been given suspended sentences after a worker was hit by timber posts and frames which fell from a fork lift truck.

Hoo Farm Fencing owners Maurice Blackford, of Minster Road, Stourport, and Susan Hawthorne, of Hartlebury Road, Stourport, both pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Raymond Lainsbury, 49, suffered injuries during the incident at Hoo Farm Fencing, in Arthur Drive, on February 12, 2016. His injuries still require regular physiotherapy.

Worcester Magistrates' Court heard how the company'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 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Hoo Farm Fencing, which is based at the Hoo Farm Industrial Estate, had not been using the suitable equipment for the task. The operator had not been properly trained to operate a fork lift truck and the company also failed to have the fork lift truck in question thoroughly examined up to required standards.

Blackford and Hawthorne were both sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, and were fined £10,000 each.

Full prosecution costs of £4,318 split between the two defendants, were awarded to the HSE that prosecuted the case.

Tariq Khan, HSE inspector, 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."