Unsafe system of work, lack of first aid and failure to report injury
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 resulting fireball generated when the thinners ignited caused the worker to be blown from the skip and he suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.
HSE investigators found:
- Unsafe System – burning of the waste material was being carried out unsafely;
- First Aid – the director failed to administer first aid to the injured worker and did not send him to hospital which was the most appropriate response given the severity of the injuries suffered; and
- Notifying HSE– he also failed to inform HSE of the incident which was only reported later by a third party.
Message for business directors
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 licence.
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.”