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Firm fined after three ladies suffered carbon monoxide poisoning

Date:
24 November 2016

A gas installation company and its director were fined after three ladies suffered carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Derby Crown Court heard how three ladies were having lunch at a home address in South Wingfield when they became ill. When they were discovered they were close to death and were taken to hospital and found to have carbon monoxide poisoning.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register into the incident which occurred on 25 April 2014 found that the range cooker was the source and high levels of CO were emitted when the cooker was in use and built up very quickly to dangerous levels. The flue was found to be blocked and ventilation to the cooker was inadequate.

Gas work had been carried out on the cooker the day prior to the incident by Steven Roberts who failed to carry out basic safety checks. His employer, Regional Heat and Warmth Limited of Nottinghamshire, failed to maintain Steven Roberts gas registration and ensure the equipment was properly maintained and accurate enough to ensure the cooker was operating correctly.

Regional Heat and Warmth Limited (RHW), of Gibson Court, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety Installations and Use Regulations 1998, and Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £43,754.56.

Steven Roberts (Director of RHW), OF Charlesworth Street, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 26(1) and 26(9) of the Gas Safety Installations and Use Regulations 1998, and was sentenced to 7 months in prison suspended for two years with costs of £44,907.81.

HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said after the hearing: “There is no excuse for failing to carry out gas safety checks.

“HSE will continue to bring those to justice who flaunt the laws which are put there to protect members of the public.”

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/  and guidance at
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk