Vehicle scrap company boss avoids jail after crushing employee’s legs while driving forklift truck

  • Horrific incident could have ended in worker’s death, says Health and Safety Executive
  • Ghol Mohammad Navabi ran over employee and broke his legs while reversing down ramp
  • Investigation found that forklift truck didn’t have a working foot brake or working hand brake
  • Company is fined £60,000 for multiple legal breaches, including having no liability insurance
  • Navabi must pay thousands in costs and is given 20-week prison sentence suspended for a year

Time 7:00 am, February 26, 2022

A vehicle scrap company boss who ran over an employee and broke his legs while driving a forklift truck has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Ghol Mohammad Navabi, the sole director of Queensferry Car Breakers Ltd in Cambridge, had been using the truck to move engine parts from the scrap yard up a loading ramp into the back of a metal container.

Cambridge magistrates were told that while he was in the container, Navabi asked the worker, who was also in the container, to collect a car bonnet.

But the worker returned quicker than expected, and as the employee was walking back up the ramp, Navabi reversed down it and ran over him, crushing his legs and causing multiple fractures to both limbs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the March 2021 incident found the truck had no working foot brake, no working hand brake, defective steering and hadn’t been adequately maintained.

The regulator also discovered there was nothing to keep pedestrians and moving vehicles apart, nor did the company have compulsory liability insurance as an employer.

Navabi, 47, who admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, was given a 20-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £3,923 costs.

Queensferry Car Breakers Ltd, of Doddington Road, admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

It was fined £60,000 and must also pay the same amount in costs as Navabi.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: ‘This incident could have easily resulted in a fatality and could have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

‘This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of safety measures, including segregating vehicles and pedestrians.’

Stock image used for illustrative purposes

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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