Waste company director banned after serious safety failings

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The director of a waste transfer company has been banned from taking a directorial role after he knowingly exposed his employees to serious unsafe conditions

Preston Crown Court heard that, in November 2018, Zarif Mohammed allowed the use of a poorly maintained and damaged telehandler on a waste transfer site in Kensulate Park, Blackburn.

Zarif Mohammed was previously convicted in 2013 of a transport-related health and safety offence which led to a fatal incident. He also faced prosecution action in 2017 for using a poorly maintained and damaged telehandler.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the 2018 allegations revealed the telehandler was being used without working reversing lights, a camera or mirrors, which presented a serious risk of people being struck and seriously injured as the driver would not be able to see adequately when reversing the vehicle.

HSE sentencing

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

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Boyd, said: “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.”

Zarif Mohammed’s previous convictions

Mohammed and his company, Blackburn Skip Hire, were ordered to pay £80,000 in fines and costs in 2013 when Amin Qabil, a 21 year-old worker, was crushed to death.

Qabil was tragically killed when using a skid steer loader to move rubbish.

The firm had bought a second-hand skid steer loader at an auction in Doncaster but had failed to ensure its safety features were working correctly.

The restraint bar had been disabled, which meant the controls could still be operated when no one was sitting in the cab. The minimum engine speed had also been increased, and a fault meant the vehicle could reverse unexpectedly.

Qabil’s body was discovered just after midnight after the owner of a neighbouring business noticed the gates to the site were still open. He had suffered massive rear head injuries.

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