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Construction firm fined for exposing family to carbon monoxide risk

A building company has been fined £16,000 after unsafe work around a domestic boiler led to a gas escape. The firm’s director has also been prosecuted.

Birmingham Magistrates Court was told how Oldbury-based MD Building Contractors removed an original flue outlet for a pre-existing gas boiler and built an external wall around it during construction work for a kitchen extension in July 2017. This left the flue completely enclosed inside the wall with no external exit point for the boiler to vent safely, exposing the family of six living in the house to the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation.

The company, which pleaded guilty to breaching Gas Safety (Installation and Use) reg 8(3), was also ordered to pay costs of £513. The firm’s director Manjit Singh Dhaliwal was fined £2,000 plus £431 costs after pleading guilty to breaching s 37 of the Health and Safety at Work.

“Every year, around seven people die from CO poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated,” said HSE principal inspector Tony Mitchell.

“All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

 

David Gilliver
David Gilliver is a freelance journalist, copywriter and subeditor

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