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Worker Seriously Burned in Accident at Work

The director of a construction firm has been jailed for safety failings after a young employee was injured in an accident at work.

Accident at work

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the worker had been instructed to stand on the top of a skip containing burning waste and pour flammable thinners into the waste to speed up the process.

The thinners ignited, causing a fireball – the force of which threw the worker across the room. He sustained substantial to his arms and legs.

HSE investigaton

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found a number of safety failings. Firstly, the company director did not ensure that the burning of the waste materials was carried out in a safe and appropriate manner. Secondly, after the incident occurred he failed to administer any first aid or send the young injured worker to hospital. Lastly, the director failed to immediately report the accident at work incident to the HSE, which is a legal requirement. The incident was instead reported by a third party sometime afterwards.


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).

He was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison, half on release under licence. Mr Stead has also been banned from being a company director for seven years.

HSE inspector Adele Davies said after the hearing:

“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.”

Accident at work – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email

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