Derbyshire firm must pay £32k after young worker dies in horrific fire

The case was heared at Nottingham Crown Court recently.
The case was heared at Nottingham Crown Court recently.

A Derbyshire company has been fined after one of its young workers died in a severe fire.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Daniel Brown, 27, suffered 90 per cent burns over his body while cleaning a spray booth at LW Smart Repairs Ltd's base on Lydford Road, Alfreton, on May 26, 2012.

Mr Brown, of South Normanton, later died in hospital as a result of his horrific injuries.

The court heard a pressure washer was taken into the booth and subsequently ignited a highly flammable vapour which formed above the gunwash that was poured on to the floor. The ignition resulted in a serious fire.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found no proper planning had been undertaken by the company and this should have identified alternative and far safer methods of keeping the booth clean.

LW Smart Repairs Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching regulation six of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.

The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,500.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Scott Wynne said: "LW Smart Repairs Ltd failed to conduct a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks associated with the use of a highly flammable solvent for cleaning.

"This incident could have been prevented if the company had done all that was reasonably practicable to reduce the risks associated with the cleaning operation."

Following the tragedy, Mr Brown's father, Stuart Brown, said: "Dan was a kind, loving and thoughtful man who always put others first.

"He never caused trouble and we never fell out."

Mr Walker's boss, Leigh Watson, said at the time: "He was a cracking lad, absolutely spot on.

"He was 100 per cent devoted to his job and everybody loved him.

"It's such a tragedy.

"He was coming up to three years here and was a really good worker.

"You could not have asked for a better chap."