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 was informed that the young worker was told to stand on top of the skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to help it burn. The fireball that resulted when the thinners were poured in caused the worker to be blown from the skip and he suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.
An investigation which was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company director did not ensure that the burning of waste material was being carried out in a safe way. He did not administer any first aid to the young injured worker and did not send him to the hospital, the most appropriate response given the severity of the injuries he suffered. He also failed to inform HSE of the incident, a legal requirement, and the incident was only reported sometime later by a third party.
David Gordon Stead of Mildred Street, Beddau, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and also pled guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and was sentenced to 32 weeks imprisonment, half on release under license. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.
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.’