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Paignton contractor puts lives at risk when a gas flue was removed

Date:
26 November 2015

A gas flue was removed during a re-roofing contract potentially putting a tenant’s life at risk.

Gary Redman, 55, was in control of roofing works above a flat on Marldon Road, Paignton on during March 2014 but during the works the flue to the gas boiler in the flat below was removed, creating the risk of dangerous gases, including carbon monoxide, building-up inside the property, which was occupied by a tenant.

Gary Redman’s work was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted him at Plymouth Magistrates’ court.

During the trial the court heard the flue had been detached from the boiler where it passed through the flat roof. The tenant in the property tried to use the boiler but found it did not work. On investigating, the tenant saw that the flue had been removed completely where it passed through the roof and later saw the flue had been replaced in the hole in the flat roof but not re-connected to the boiler.

The work was checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer who classed the flue as ’immediately dangerous’ and contacted HSE.

Gary Redman, of Broadlands Road, Paignton, had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing but was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, after a trial and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 prosecution costs.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the trial, said: “Gary Redman’s negligence could have cost lives.

“A boiler not connected to a flue and could send waste gas into a building is a clear and well known risk.

“Anyone removing gas flues must make sure they are properly replaced and connected to gas appliances and that work is undertaken by a member of Gas Safe Register.

“Anyone undertaking building work around a flue must ensure their building work does not affect the flue or gas appliance in any way.”

Gary Redman appealed his sentence and this appeal was heard on 22 February 2016 at Plymouth Crown Court. As a result of the appeal, his fine was reduced to £2,000.

Further information about gas safety can be found at  http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ 
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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