Building firm fined over carbon monoxide exposure
Posted by Nicole Stevens.
A construction firm, along with one of its directors, has been fined Ã‚Â£15,000 after two customers were left at serious risk of death or illness from carbon monoxide exposure.
Rushi Construction (UK), owned by Vikas Patel, was carrying out work at a customer's residence in Buckinghamshire which required the building of a new extension.
Some of the extension was built around the outlet of a gas boiler, which was found not to have been installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Mr Patel tried to use a sewage pipe and a washing machine vent hose to enable the flue outlet to extend across the new extension and out of a window.
However, this did not work, meaning dangerous carbon monoxide fumes were released in the house.
The firm was fined Ã‚Â£12,000 and ordered to pay Ã‚Â£1,000 in costs after pleaded guilty to breaching sections of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and regulations 4 and 8(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Mr Patel was fined Ã‚Â£3,000 and ordered to pay costs of Ã‚Â£731 after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and regulations 4 and 8(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Commenting on the prosecution, HSE inspector Stephen Manley said: "Everybody involved in construction work, from small jobs such as fitting a conservatory, to larger extension builds, must think about the effect it may have on the safe operation of existing services such as gas appliances and flues.
"If you're in any doubt as to the effect of your work on existing gas systems then you are probably in the wrong business - but at the very least you should take advice from an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register."
Other measures, such as fitting appropriate warning signs, could also have been taken.
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