The director of a construction company has been sentenced to 8 months in custody after pleading guilty to a health and safety breach that resulted in the death of two brothers working for him from a severe fire.

Simon Thomerson’s construction company had been contracted to refurbish several units on an industrial park in Hertfordshire. Thomerson had supplied the two brothers and a third labourer with highly flammable thinners which was poured over the floor of a unit to remove old carpet tile adhesive. The thinners vapour spread over a wide area and was ignited by one of several ignition sources in the area.

All three men received severe burns in the fire, with the brothers dying within 12 hours of the fire.

Speaking after the hearing, 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.”

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