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ROOFWORK BLUNDER LED TO DEATH OF ELDERLY COUPLE

Self-employed builder to pay £100,000 and community service after CO deaths

A self-employed builder, Mohammed Jamil, has been fined £75,000 and ordered to undertake 150 hours of community service after work he carried out on the home of an elderly couple resulted in their death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mohammed Jamil had been contracted to carry out work on the garage roof at the home of husband and wife Donald and Rosetta O’Sullivan in London during February and March 2009.

The Old Bailey heard today that Mr Jamil raised the roof of the garage but failed to take into account the effect on the safety of the gas appliances within the property.

HSE investigators found that in raising the roof the flue of a boiler was enclosed causing a dangerous and unsafe condition. Mr and Mrs O’Sullivan suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and were found dead at their home on the 21 April 2009.

Builders must consider effect of work on gas appliances

Mohammed Jamil, of Grove Green Road, Leyton, pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 for his failings in relation to the deaths. In addition to the £75,000 fine, he was ordered to pay £25,452 in costs and handed a 12 month community order requiring him to undertake 150 hours of community service.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Smith said:

“This was a tragic incident that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of a retired couple in their own home as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Today’s prosecution graphically illustrates the dangers of builders carrying out work without considering the effects on gas appliances. The builder failed to comply with the standards and regulations relating to gas fittings, which resulted in work that left flues in a dangerous condition, and allowed a colourless, odourless, silent killer to enter the property.”

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out any work on your gas appliances, and remember that other types of work in your home may impact on the safe operation of those appliances.

Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card that confirms who they are and which also has details on the kind of work they are qualified to carry out. Always ask to see the ID card and remember you can call us free on 0800 408 5500 to check the details.”

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