UK Construction Company's Director Jailed in Burn Case

The investigation found the director did not ensure the waste burning was carried out safely, failed to administer any first aid to the injured worker, and did not send him to a hospital. He also did not inform HSE of the incident as legally required.

The director of a British construction company has been jailed for up to eight months for his role in a case that caused a worker to suffer serious burn injuries, the Health and Safety Executive reported Feb. 6. Half of the prison term for David Gordon Stead will be on supervised release.

HSE investigated and filed charges. A court heard evidence that the young worker was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto burning waste to help it to burn, resulting in a fireball that knocked the worker off the skip. He suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.

The investigation found Stead did not ensure the burning was carried out safely, failed to administer any first aid to the injured worker, and did not send him to a hospital. He also did not inform HSE of the incident as legally required; the incident was reported later by a third party.

Stead pleaded guilty to violating Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and to breaching Section 4 (1) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). He has been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.

"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," said HSE Inspector Adele Davies.

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