Scaffolding operator’s directors disqualified for raft of failings

Commercial Motor
January 2, 2024

A Heysham scaffolding firm whose repeated failure to attend a DVSA new operator seminar prompted a maintenance investigation has now had its licence revoked and the directors disqualified.

Carl Fawcett and Andrew Dawson, who ran Lancaster Scaffolding, did not appear at a Golborne public inquiry that was scheduled after the investigation found the business had no systems in place to monitor forward planning, AdBlue usage, tyre management or driver defect reporting.

The DVSA also found that Lancaster Scaffolding had changed its maintenance provider but not informed the office of the TC and there was no evidence of a contract with the new provider.

The agency’s probe began after the two directors were sent three invitations to attend DVSA new operator seminars, but they failed to respond.

TC Gerallt Evans said in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, both directors had also deliberately absented themselves from the hearing without good reason and so he proceeded with the PI.

Given the failure of the operator to honour the undertakings on its licence, he said the grounds for regulatory action were met.

“In the absence of the operator, there are few positive features that I can identify,” he said.

“I acknowledge that the operator and its directors have not previously been called to a public inquiry, albeit that factor has to be seen in the context that the licence has been active for less than 12 months.”

The TC added: “I have applied a balancing exercise and the features identified above in relation to regulatory action are equally pertinent to the question of disqualification. The negative features outweigh the positives and I consider a period of disqualification is justified.”

He said the case had some serious aspects but he balanced this with the fact it was the operator’s first PI and he did not exclude the possibility of rehabilitation:

“I consider that a period of disqualification is necessary for the operator, Mr Fawcett and Mr Dawson to reflect on the events that led to the loss of the licence and to seek further education on how to run a compliant operation,” the TC concluded.

“Any future application would also be strengthened by evidence that they had sought independent advice and support from a specialist source such as a transport consultant.”

As a result, both men were disqualified for 12 months.

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