Bodmin Magistrates’ Court has fined a building firm £6,660 and ordered to pay £697 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Additionally, the court fined a contractor £2,664 with £692 in costs after breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation into building work in Bodmin and Callington.
The HSE told the court that the chimneys were used to flue working gas boilers and fires. Due to the builder capping the chimneys, potentially fatal gasses could have built up inside the properties. An inspection classed the properties as “immediately dangerous”.
After the case was heard, HSE inspector Simon Jones said:
“Although no-one was hurt, this was an incredibly dangerous situation where gas appliances could have pumped poisonous and potentially fatal gasses into the loft space of a home instead of to outside the property.”
“Whenever a chimney is removed or capped careful checks should be taken to ensure that the chimney is not being used and cannot be used in the future.”
For information on gas safety, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/index.htm