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Sat December 07 2019

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Failure to fix telehandler catches up with waste boss

25 Nov Broken tail lights and missing mirrors on a telehandler were enough to land a suspended jail sentence and a director’s ban for the boss of a waste transfer company.

The severity of the punishment was because it was not the first time that he had been found guilty of knowingly exposing employees to serious unsafe working conditions.

Preston Crown Court heard that, in November 2018, despite a conviction for transport-related health and safety offences following a fatal incident in 2013, and further enforcement action in 2017 for using a poorly maintained and damaged telehandler, Zarif Mohammed allowed the continued use of the same seriously damaged machine on the waste transfer site in Kensulate Park, Blackburn.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the telehandler was being used without working reversing lights, a camera or mirrors, which presented a risk of people being struck as the driver would not be able to see adequately when reversing the vehicle.

Zarif Mohammed of Angela Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty under Section 37 to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and 190 hours of unpaid work with a further six rehabilitation days. He was also struck off from working as a company director for five years.

HSE inspector Steven Boyd said after the hearing: “Mr Mohammed had been previously convicted by HSE following a fatality at a previous company of which he was a director and then was served additional enforcement by HSE on a visit to a new company of which he was a director.

“Despite this, Mr Mohammed allowed serious unsafe conditions to prevail, presenting a high risk of persons being killed or seriously injured.

“Workplace transport incidents remain a major cause of fatal and serious injuries in the waste and recycling industry. It is important that vehicles are maintained in a safe condition.”

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