Mechanic who felt ‘very ill’ after swallowing petrol loses employment tribunal case

Image: Bigstock

Sheil Mavadia was working at West London Motor Group when he used his mouth to syphon petrol

A mechanic who was left ‘gagging’ and ’burping’ after swallowing petrol at work has lost his claim for unfair constructive dismissal.

Sheil Mavadia was working at West London Motor Group when he was told to use his mouth to syphon petrol out of a car as the dealership didn’t have a pump.

Giving evidence at an employment tribunal, he said: “The manager insisted I syphon the fuel using my mouth and a pipe due to the company not having the correct equipment, which [led] to me drinking fuel by accident.”

Mr Mavadia, who went to A&E and was off work for three weeks, said he felt “very ill”.

He says he was subjected to sarcastic remarks from company director, Mehmet Obali, who told him to be “careful not to drink fuel”.

Less than a month later, Mr Mavadia resigned, citing the “misconduct of health and safety” rules.

The tribunal rejected his claim for unfair constructive dismissal, with employment judge, Patrick Quill, saying: ”My finding is that it was his own decision to abandon the search for the pump, and to use his mouth instead to kick-start the process.

“Mr Patel [sales director] had not known that, after leaving his office, Mr Mavadia had decided to do it.”

”Mr Patel had not told him that the company did not have the correct equipment and had, on the contrary, expressly told him that they did have it, and told him where it was normally kept.”

On the subject of the ’sarcastic’ comments, the judge added: ”I do think these were, at best, unsympathetic given that the ingestion of fuel had caused him to be on sickness absence for three weeks.

”But my decision is that Mr Mavadia knew Mr Obali was joking. 

”They may well have been slightly cruel jokes, and they were certainly at his expense. However, they were not intended to be taken literally, and he knew that.”

Source: Metro

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here