Director jailed after Hoddesdon explosion led to death of two brothers. Simon Thomerson was sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment at Luton Crown Court on 9 July 2018 after pleading guilty to a health and safety breach that resulted in the death of two brothers.
The Court heard how Mr Thomerson, the sole owner and director of Clearview Design and Construction Ltd, had been contracted to refurbish several of the units at an industrial park in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.
Brothers Ardian and Jashar Lamallari had been employed as labourers and were working inside one of the units on 3 October 2015 when an explosive fire occurred. Both brothers suffered near 100 per cent burns and died within 12 hours of the incident. A third man who was working with them also suffered severe burns, but survived.
A joint investigation by Hertfordshire Constabulary and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Thomerson had supplied the three men with several litres of highly flammable “thinners”, which they then poured onto the floor of the unit to remove old dried carpet tile adhesive.
The investigation found that Mr Thomerson had given no serious consideration to the safe use of the thinners, despite the obvious warnings on the containers. The vapour spread over and was ignited by one of several possible ignition sources that were in the area.
Sole owner and director of Clearview Design and Construction Ltd, Simon Thomerson of Sutherland Avenue, London, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation and received a custodial sentence of 8 months.
This case is a sombre reminder that failure to follow basic health and safety requirements may result in tragic deaths of innocent workers and devastating consequences for their families. When this occurs, the business owners, managers and directors may be at risk of not only having to pay massive fines and being exposed to adverse publicity, but also being sentenced to immediate imprisonment.
Health and Safety: the basics
Health and safety laws apply to all businesses. As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety of persons involved in, or affected by, your business. This includes your employees, sub-contractors and members of the public.
The approach you take should be proportionate to the size of your business and the nature of your business activity.
Managing health and safety does not have to be complicated, costly or time-consuming. If you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees and any relevant third parties, you should not be liable to enforcement action by the regulator or have to pay compensation in a civil claim.
Experts in health and safety law
At Deo Volente Solicitors we have specialist knowledge in health and safety legislation.
If you have been invited to attend a formal interview or have received a court summons in relation to health and safety offences, it is very important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. In our experience, early legal advice and intervention can help avoid prosecution altogether.
Our friendly and highly professional team will carry out a thorough analysis of your case, collate the best evidence possible in support of your defence and identify and exploit various avenues of defending your case and not just the most obvious.
To discuss your case with a specialist Regulatory Solicitor call Nastassia Khilkevich on 01234 673 400 or email email@example.com to arrange a free initial consultation about your case.