The director of an Essex-based construction firm has been sentenced to eight months in jail after pleading guilty to a health and safety breach that led to the death of two brothers.
Simon Thomerson, the sole director of Clearview Design and Construction, pleaded guilty after brothers Ardian and Jashar Lamallari died while carrying out refurbishment work at an industrial park in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.
Luton Crown Court heard that the brothers had been employed by Clearview Design and Construction as labourers and were working inside one of the industrial units (pictured) on 3 October 2015 when an explosive fire took place.
Both brothers suffered near 100 per cent burns and died within 12 hours of the incident.
A third man working alongside the brothers also suffered severe burns but survived the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive and Hertfordshire Constabulary found that Mr Thomerson had given the men several litres of highly flammable “thinners” to use for the removal of carpet adhesive.
The vapour spread over an area up to half the size of a tennis court and was ignited by several possible sources.
The investigation found Mr Thomerson had given no consideration to the safe use of thinners despite obvious warnings on the containers.
Mr Thomerson, of Sunderland Avenue, London, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety Act. He received a custodial sentence of eight months and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170.
HSE inspector Paul Hoskins said: “This tragic incident led to the wholly avoidable death of two brothers, Ardian and Jashar, destroying the lives of their young families.
“The risks of using highly flammable liquids are well known, and employers should make sure they properly assess the risks from such substances, and use safer alternatives where possible.
“Where the use of flammable solvents is unavoidable, then the method and environment must be strictly controlled to prevent any ignition.”
Zana Lamallari, wife of Jashar, said in a victim impact statement: “After the death of my husband, my family life has completely been destroyed.
“My children’s and my future has been completely destroyed. He was everything to me.”