Building Company fined for breaching gas safety

Company fined and director given suspended prison sentence over breach of gas safety

Plastic and Wood Specialists Ltd, from Wellingborough, Northants, were found guilty by HSE (the Health and Safety Executive) for breaching Gas Safety Law, putting a childminder and the children in her care at risk of carbon dioxide poisoning.

They built a structure around the flue outlet for the boiler, for the childminder to use for sleeping infants and children

However, in doing so, they made the already existing gas boiler flue unsafe, allowing carbon monoxide to build up. Fortunately, the carbon monoxide alarm went off, and the gas supply disconencted by an emergency engineer, avoiding possible fatalaties.

HSE's investigation found that the structure should not have been built to partially enclose the boiler flue. Instead, it should have been extended first. Plastic and Wood Specialists Ltd were fined £40,000. The company director, Alan John Wager, was given a 26 week suspended prison sentence.

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."

For more information, see the full story on HSE's website from 15 December 2016.