HSE reports that the director of a construction company has been imprisoned for eight months after failing to take appropriate action which resulted in a young worker receiving serious burns.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the young worker was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to help it to burn. The fireball that resulted when the thinners ignited caused the worker to be blown from the skip and he suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company director did not ensure the burning of the waste material was being carried out in a safe or appropriate manner. He failed to administer any first aid to the young injured worker and did not send him to hospital, the most appropriate response given the severity of the injuries suffered. He failed to inform HSE of the incident, a legal requirement, and the incident was only reported sometime later by a third party
Speaking after the case HSE inspector Adele Davies said “David Stead failed his employees. His actions could have resulted in the death of this worker. The young man suffered unnecessary life threatening injuries due to poor working standards.
“We hope this sentence sends out a message that directors of businesses must take their health and safety responsibilities seriously.”