Prison sentence for building boss after young worker receives serious burns

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The director of a construction firm has received an eight month prison sentence after a worker suffered substantial burns to his legs and arms

An eight month prison sentence has been handed to a construction firm director following an incident that left a worker with serious burns.

The case was heard at Cardiff Crown Court and told how a young worker was burnt after being told to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto burning waste.

Subsequently, this caused the thinners to ignite and resulted in a fireball. The worker was thrown from the skip and as was burnt on his arms and legs.

Safety failings

An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and revealed safety failings. This included the fact the company director did not ensure the waste material was disposed of in a safe or appropriate manner.

Furthermore, he failed to administer first aid to the worker and did not send him to hospital for care.

The investigation also showed the company director did not inform the HSE of the incident, thus sidestepping a legal requirement. The incident was only brought to light after a third party reported it sometime after.

Prison sentence

Building boss David Gordon Stead pleaded guilty to safety breaches. He was given a 32 weeks sentence, half on release under licence. He was also told he could not become 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.”

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