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Company and contractor fined after member of public struck by fencing wire

14 June 2017

A civil engineering company (R M Contractors Limited aka RMC), and a contractor working on behalf of a tree surgery company Complete Tree Services (CTS) have been sentenced after a member of the public was injured by fencing wire.

Redditch Magistrates’ Court heard a member of the public was in her garden, when she was sprayed with pieces of fencing wire that had become entangled in a mechanical flail. As the head of the flail was lifted, ejected pieces were directed towards her garden. She was struck twice, once in the leg and once in the neck. She needed surgery to remove the piece of metal from her neck.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 18 May 2015, found the contractor RMC who had engaged the sub-contractor CTS to carry out the flailing, who had failed to properly plan this work to ensure the suitable controls had been identified and implemented.

They both failed to check the area for obstructions or follow safe procedures should such an event occur.

R M Contractors Limited, of Pipers Road, Park Farm Industrial Estate, Redditch, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,000.

Matt Lea of Little Luddington Farm, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and has been sentenced to 120 hours community order and ordered to pay costs of £3600.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Chris Gregory said: “Members of the public have a right to expect to be able to enjoy their garden without any risk of being hit by flying debris from neighbouring work activity.”

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Notes to Editors:


  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.


  1. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:  and guidance at



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