O-licence application refused due to persistent illegal operation of trucks
West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton has refused to grant an O-licence to a firm that showed “no regard to the law” over several occasions.
Birmingham-based Sleeptherapy Beds was discovered operating HGVs without an O-licence several times in 2017. One truck had also been driven without a valid MoT for a month.
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner was also concerned about the company’s links with Slumberdream, which had its O-licence revoked in 2012; Slumberzone Beds, which lost its O-licence in 2014; and Health Therapy, which had its application refused in 2016 after two vehicles had been used without permission.
It also noted that the registered address was the same as that of Sharaz Hussain, director at Health Therapy Beds.
Sharaz Hussain posed as Sleeptherapy Beds director Sajad Hussain during an interview under caution with a DVSA examiner, in which he denied all knowledge of the unlawful operating of vehicles.
At the public inquiry last month, the real Sajad Hussain admitted that Sharaz Hussain must have been the person interviewed by the examiner. He claimed he had not been aware of any of the vehicle stops at the time they occurred.
Sajad Hussain admitted that he had not been in control of the company and offered to employ a transport manager if it was granted a restricted O-licence.
Bank statements presented at the hearing appeared to show no payments to HMRC, despite wages being paid to a significant number of employees. The TC referred the company to HMRC for investigation.
“The company’s persistent, knowing and illegal operation of HGVs without a licence has put road safety in jeopardy and has undercut bona fide companies who operate within the law,” TC Denton said.
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Fatal reversing incident sees Savanna Rags International fined £650,000
A Mansfield-based operator has been ordered to pay more than £650,000 in fines and costs, following the death of a worker who was struck by a reversing vehicle.
The 89-year-old employee working for textiles recycling firm Savanna Rags International was hit by the rear of a reversing vehicle, operated by a visiting driver delivering goods into its site, in April 2016.
According to the HSE, the firm had failed to sufficiently assess the risks associated with vehicle movements at its site.There were no measures in place to segregate pedestrians from moving vehicles, nor was there a system to ensure that vehicles could manoeuvre safely.
It also found that it was customary for vehicles to reverse from the weighbridge, which was also used by employees to access the factory, and was where the employee was hit by the vehicle.
Savanna Rags International, which is based in Forest Road, Mansfield, and has an O-licence giving it permission for up to 12 vehicles across two sites, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Regulation the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
It was fined £650,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,300.25 at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 30 October.
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