Care home could be sued after faulty gas work

Care home could be sued after faulty gas work 2806

A care home provider in Dumfries and Galloway could be sued for compensation by residents after allowing unqualified handymen to install boilers.

Dumfries and Galloway Sheriff Court heard two people were hired to replace a faulty central heating boiler system.

Neither staff or bosses at the firm asked to see any accreditations and failed to check whether the two workers were on the Gas Safe Register, which lists every qualified boiler installer in the UK.

Judges were told a strong gas smell was detected from the boiler room at the home after the installation. Concerned staff evacuated the affected unit that housed nine elderly or infirm residents.

A certified gas engineer was called out to the property and issued an "immediately dangerous" notice on the property, stopped the gas supply and expressed doubt at the validity of the installers' ability to conduct even the most basic of maintenance.

Subsequent investigations found Abdul Kareem, who is alleged to have installed the boiler, is said to have lied about being on the Gas Safe Register - potentially putting elderly residents in the home.

Many of these people would have been unable to escape in the event of a gas leak, at serious risk of injury or death.

Harveys Healthcare was fined £55,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.

HSE principal inspector Jim Young, said: "Care homes house very vulnerable people and the failure by Harveys Healthcare Ltd to ensure that people employed by them were suitably qualified and registered to carry out work with gas systems is particularly worrying.

"Although thankfully nobody was injured, the work carried out by Abdul Kareem was extremely shoddy and resulted in an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal situation."

Customers can check the credentials of boiler engineers on the Gas Safe Register.

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801591698-ADNFCR