News & Views

Jail term for director after fireball burned worker

BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety
BG Orange

The director of three construction companies has been handed an eight-month prison sentence and disqualified for seven years after his actions nearly resulted in the death of a worker. The 17-year-old employee was left with life-threatening injuries caused by a fireball ignited by burning waste and was off work for seven months.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that David Gordon Stead, director of Stead Construction Services (SCS), had failed to ensure that waste material was burned safely. On 28 May 2015, Bradley Rossiter was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to aid the burning process.


The HSE found that the thinner ignited and created a fireball, which blew Rossiter from the skip, inflicting substantial burns to his arms and legs. Following the incident, Stead did not give the worker first aid nor did he send him to hospital. He also ignored a legal requirement to inform the HSE of the accident, which was only reported sometime later by a third party.


The judge imposed a 32-week prison sentence and also disqualified him from being a company director for seven years. 

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