Building company fined for risk of carbon monoxide

18 December 2016 - Gas safe - admin - 4 Comments

A building company and its director have been fined for breaching Gas Safety law after putting a childminder and children in her care at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plastic and Wood Specialists Ltd built a structure, that the childminder used to shelter sleeping babies and young children, around the flue outlet for the boiler. A carbon monoxide alarm sounded in the home and the gas supply was later disconnected by an emergency engineer from National Grid.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard that a gas boiler flue that had been previously installed in the childminders home was made unsafe by the structure as it affected the safety of the boiler.

HSE’s investigation found that the structure should not have been constructed in a way that partially enclosed the boiler flue. The flue should have been extended before the structure was completed. If dangerous levels of carbon monoxide had built up when these vulnerable children were in the structure there could have been multiple fatalities.

Plastic and Wood Specialists Ltd pleaded guilty of Regulation 8(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 were fined £40,000 with £1,419.10 in costs. Company director Alan John Wager pleaded guilty to Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was given a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months with £1,419.10 in costs.

HSE Inspector Jenna McDade said: “Builders should be aware of the dangers arising from enclosing or partially enclosing a flue. As with this case, they would be at risk of breaching gas safety regulations even if they are not gas fitters. It is important to understand the risks before undertaking the work.”

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4 Responses to “Building company fined for risk of carbon monoxide”

  • L.Tunstall

    Builders are not aware of the gas regs any more than gas Engineers are aware of the building regs,yes it was wrong of the builder to execute any works around a boiler flue and should have taken advice before commencing with the works and were rightly prosecuted for their action,how ever what should have been high lighted in this case is the importance of having a CO alarm fitted in any room that the flue should pass through ,this is the one thing that saved any fatality and deserves to be mentioned in the report the proven necessity of having the CO alarm fitted which is a requirement in the Gas Regs which some may not be aware of, so every opportunity to high light the importance should be taken.

  • diane barnes

    that isnt true as a gas engineer i have to be aware of any building regs that fall within my scope of work regs that cover cutting joist where we can drill through for flues which walls we can fix to special requirements for timber framed buildings conservatory erector should also be aware of the dangers co dangers are well publicised

    • admin

      Well this comes from the HSE so I doubt they prosecuted unless there was a real risk of someone being hurt.

      Thanks for your comment though.