Company director fined after residents exposed to carbon monoxide

A construction company director has been fined for leaving a gas boiler at a domestic property in a dangerous condition as he worked to build an extension.

image showing the boiler in a dangerous condition

During the building work, the residents of the property in Newcastle were placed at a serious risk of ill health, including carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Magistrates’ Court heard that commencing in April 2018, construction work was carried out at a domestic property on Lichfield Avenue, which affected the safe working condition of the gas boiler and flue at the property. The family of three, a mother and her two children, remained living in the house while the extension was built.

 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that David Coulson, director of Coulson Constructions North East Ltd, did not make the gas system in the house safe before or during the construction work, allowing the fumes and poisonous gases from the boiler to flow into the extended house. He was not Gas Safe registered.

 

David Coulson of Gofton Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 and Section 20 (2)(j) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, given 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £5,200

 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Wilson, said: “Construction work can and must be planned properly to ensure the health and safety of those potentially affected throughout the building project.

“Any work on a gas system, including the boiler in our houses, must always be carried out by competent gas engineers, namely those accredited with Gas Safe Registration. Not to do so is both illegal and potentially very dangerous.

“To check if a person is Gas Safe Registered visit the Gas Safe Registered website.”

 

Notes to editors
1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. 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

4. For more information about gas safety, please visit our website here: Gas safety (hse.gov.uk)