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London and South East Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton has suspended the HGV operator licence of a Brighton company for 28 days, after an investigation revealed the company was persistently out of compliance with HGV regulations. Fire and Ice Productions Ltd will not be able to use their truck to transport equipment until early July.

Mr Denton noted that although the company had done some positive things, including meeting the CPC qualification for drivers, there were some concerns regarding vehicle safety serious enough to warrant the licence suspension. The company is expected to bring their vehicle into compliance before it begins operating again in July.

Among the problems discovered during the investigation are the following:

Fire and Ice director Alasdair Adam told Mr Denton and he and another member of the staff have since undergone operator licence management training. In addition, all employees who might potentially operate the company vehicle have completed CPC training. In order to improve safety systems and policies, they have hired a transport consultant.

No Small Matter

It is important to recognise that officials from Fire and Ice are taking the necessary steps to get things in order. However, we should also point out that this is no small matter. Even among companies that only operate a single HGV on a limited basis, safety compliance is non-negotiable. Regular vehicle inspections must be undertaken, MOTs must be conducted on schedule, and systems must be in place allowing drivers to report vehicle defects.

We applaud Fire and Ice for bringing in the transport consultant and ensuring drivers have completed CPC training. Where the CPC qualification is concerned, we have already seen a number of instances in which regulators have taken action against companies for not yet starting CPC training.

The deadline for HGV drivers to meet the CPC qualification is 14 September (2014). After that date, driving without proper training and certification could result in a £1,000 fine and the possible loss of employment. Companies knowingly allowing uncertified drivers to keep working are also subject to penalties.

The HGV Training Centre can help ensure your compliance through our comprehensive CPC training. The training involves 35 hours of classroom work designed to ensure drivers are competent in the areas of road safety and hazard avoidance. Once certification is earned, it is valid through the end of the fifth year after being issued. Drivers will need to undergo additional training sometime in that fifth year in order to continue working beyond it.

For more information about our CPC training courses, contact the HGV Training Centre at your earliest convenience. We have more than 45 locations around the UK to serve you.

Sources:

  1. Event Industry News – http://www.eventindustrynews.co.uk/2014/06/18/28-day-licence-suspension-brighton-firm-due-safety-issues/

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