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Plymouth landlord fined for endangering tenants

Date:
1 September 2014

The landlord of a property in Plymouth risked the lives of a young mother and her child, by providing a dangerous gas oven installed in the house a court has heard.

Giles Boardman was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Plymouth Magistrates on 29 August following an investigation.

HSE began inquiries when Plymouth City Council alerted them to the lack of a gas safety certificate for the property in Dickiemoor Lane. The council had asked him to provide a certificate on several occasions.

HSE served an Improvement Notice on Mr Boardman, requiring him to provide a landlords’ gas safety check but this had not been done by the notice expiry date.

In April, 2014, an engineer called in by Mr Boardman, found problems with the gas controls that controlled the gas flow for oven and notified HSE. The oven was classified by the Gas Safe registered engineer as Immediately Dangerous, meaning if operated or left connected to the gas supply it could cause an immediate danger to life or property. The oven has now been replaced.

Giles Boardman of Wheatridge, Plympton, Plymouth pleaded guilty to two breaches of gas safety regulations and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act. He was fined a total of £4,050 and ordered to pay costs of £513.

HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said:

“Landlords have a legal duty to carry out gas safety checks which are there to protect their tenants from death or injury.

“In this case, Mr Boardman ignored repeated requests to carry out the checks and as a result, a serious fault with the oven went undetected until discovered by an engineer.”

Further information about landlords’ responsibilities for gas supply can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/gas/landlords

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1.  The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace  health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It  does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or  revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority  partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2.       Regulation 36(2) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states:  “Every landlord shall ensure that there is maintained in a safe condition (a) any relevant gas fitting; and (b) any flue which serves any relevant gas fitting, so as to prevent the risk of injury to any person in lawful occupation or relevant premises.”

3.    Regulation 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “A landlord shall ensure that each appliance and flue to which that duty extends is checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and at intervals of not more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety (whether such check was made pursuant to these Regulations or not)”

4.     Section 33(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states: “It is an offence for a person … to contravene any requirement or prohibition imposed by an improvement notice or a prohibition notice (including any such notice as modified on appeal).”

5.  HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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