Waste company director banned after repeated health and safety failings

By January 9, 2020Case Review
Health and Safety | HR Solutions

The director of a waste transfer company has been banned from being a company director after being found guilty of exposing employees to unsafe working conditions.

Preston Crown Court heard evidence that in November 2018, Mr Mohammed allowed his workers to continue to use a poorly maintained and damaged telehandler.

Mr Mohammed already has a previous conviction for transport-related health and safety offences that followed a fatal accident in 2013 and further enforcement action in 2017. Despite this, he allowed workers to continue to use the extremely damaged machine on a waste transfer site in Blackburn.

Health and safety investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the telehandler had been used without a camera, mirrors and working reversing lights. This presented a serious danger and could lead to people becoming stuck and seriously injured as the driver would not be able to adequately see when  reversing the vehicle.

Mr Mohammed from Blackburn pleaded guilty under Section 37 to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He received a six months prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and 190 hours of unpaid work and six rehabilitation days. Mr Mohammed was also banned from working as a company director for the next five years.

In the waste and recycling industry, transport incidents are a major cause of serious and fatal injury. Each year, there are more than 5,000 workplace accidents involving transport. While around 50 of these incidents result in death, the main causes of injury are people being crush or stuck by vehicles or by falling off them.

Previous convictions

In 2013, Mr Mohammed and his firm, Blackburn Skip Hire, were instructed to pay £80,000 in costs and fines after one of his employees was crushed to death. The employee died while using a skid steer loader to move rubbish. Mr Mohammed’s company had bought a second-hand skid steer loader at auction but failed to ensure its safety features were working correctly.  As the restraint bar was not working after having been disabled, the controls could still be used even with no one sitting in the cab. The engine’s minimum speed had also been increased, while a further fault meant the vehicle could suddenly reverse unexpectedly. The employee died from injuries to the back of his head.

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