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BUILDER AND DIRECTOR PROSECUTED OVER CO RISK

Home occupier exposed to carbon monoxide risk from gas boiler

Rushi Construction (UK) Limited and company director Vikas Patel have been fined a total of £15k after leaving two customers at risk from exposure to carbon monoxide fumes in 2009.

The company was building a home extension in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire. Part of the extension was built around the flue outlet of a gas boiler.

A sewage pipe and a washing machine vent hose was used to extend the flue outlet across the new room and out a window. Carbon monoxide gases were being released in the house, exposing the homeowners to potentially deadly fumes. The HSE investigation revealed that no Gas Safe registered engineer had been involved in the gas fitting work.

Builders must think through implications

Following sentencing, HSE Inspector Stephen Manley said:

“Everybody involved in construction work, from small jobs such as fitting a conservatory, to larger extension builds, must think about the effect it may have on the safe operation of existing services such as gas appliances and flues.

“If you’re in any doubt as to the effect of your work on existing gas systems then you are probably in the wrong business – but at the very least you should take advice from an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register.

“Mr Patel’s clients could have died because of the unsafe situation he created in their home. HSE will always take action when we see examples of such blatant disregard or ignorance, of regulations, guidance, and common sense.”

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