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Two Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutions this month highlight the risks which gas in domestic premises can hold. One case involved private landlords and the other cavity wall insulation.
In the first case two landlords in Newquay failed to undertake the appropriate checks and servicing on a gas boiler. This was despite a request about an inspection a year into the tenancy.
Thankfully, the family who were living there were unharmed as they noticed a gas smell and notified Wales and West Utilities. Wales and West then isolated the boiler and later an engineer issued a notice on it. Each landlord was ordered to pay £7,000 and one was also ordered to pay £209 costs at Truro Magistrates’ Court on 12 February.
Unfortunately the other case did not avoid the terrible risks of gas as it involved the tragic death of 83-year old Joyce Moore from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The incident arose out of the installing of cavity wall insulation in 2012 by HIS Energy Ltd. After the insulation beads had been blown into the cavity, one of the employees of the company noticed a pile of them at the back of the boiler.
Whilst the worker telephoned the firm’s main office and also advised Mrs Moore’s son not to use the boiler unfortunately her son wasn’t made aware of the seriousness of the issue.
In addition to this the company failed to ensure the boiler was switched off before their employees left and to give a warning notice either to the homeowner or on the boiler. What’s more, even though the industry guidance was to do so, they failed to alert either National Grid or a gas engineer.
Unfortunately, the thermostat in the hall was later turned up by Mrs Moore’s son which caused the heating to come on. Tragically, around two hours later he found his mother slumped on her bed and a post mortem confirmed that it was carbon monoxide poisoning which was the cause of her death.
The company was prosecuted at Manchester Crown Court on 13 February and afterwards a spokesperson for the HSE was clear in making no criticism at all of Mrs Moore’s son as the fault lay with the company. The company, which has gone into voluntary liquidation, was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay £24,968.44 in prosecution costs.
What both of these cases illustrate is just how important it is to stay on top of gas safety at all times. Carbon monoxide is incredibly dangerous and seemingly innocent activities can so easily turn fatal if the correct procedures and checks are not undertaken.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Claims Direct have extensive experience in dealing with carbon monoxide poisoning claims on a No Win No Fee basis. This means there is no financial risk to you.
For a free consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer call Claims Direct 24/7 on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start claim online and we will be happy to help.
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