A West Midlands scaffolding firm has had its O-licence suspended for four weeks following a series of safety shortcomings highlighted by the DVSA.
The restricted O-licence of J&C Scaffolding of Wednesbury came under scrutiny at a public inquiry held by TC Nick Denton in Birmingham.
He ruled that the four weeks suspension should start on 27 January.
The inquiry followed a series of adverse DVSA reports which found several faults including a lack of arrangements for collecting and analysing tachograph reports.
The operator wrongly thought all its vehicles were exempt from EU drivers’ hours and working time rules whereas three of its seven vehicles weigh more than 7.5-tonnes and are therefore not exempt.
In addition, the DVSA reported that the drivers were not carrying out effective daily defect checks on their vehicles; there was a poor MOT pass rate; safety inspection sheets showed a lack of attention to maintenance; and there were frequently gaps of more than six weeks between safety inspections.
J&C the subject of an unsatisfactory DVSA maintenance report in April 2016, and another in November 2017.
After the second report the operator said it would carry our random audits of drivers to see that they were making defect checks but at the time of the inquiry no such audits had taken place.
As well as suspending the licence the TC said that J&C’s director, Kevin Hill, should take an operator licence management course “to gain at least some idea of the requirements of applicable to the operation of HGVs”.
Denton said that the four week licence suspension should give time for this course to be taken.
The TC added: “The shortcomings found and failure to take effective action following adverse DVSA reports would justify an outright revocation of the licence. Because this is the operator’s first public inquiry, I have decided to give it one final chance to run a compliant operation.”
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