A family was put in danger of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning by a builder who wasn’t registered to carry out work on gas appliances and flues, a court has been told.
Richard Copp, who had been hired to build a two-storey extension at a house in Woolwell, Plymouth, admitted three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations.
Suspended jail sentence
The Plymouth-based builder was given a suspended 8-month prison sentence and ordered to pay costs of £500.
Copp carried out the work in June 2013, Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was alerted after a registered Gas Safe engineer classified his work as ‘Immediately Dangerous’.
The engineer had found that while the gas boiler was still in operation and with the family still living in the house, the flue had opened into the extension and been extended with an inappropriate section of piping.
That meant carbon monoxide gas could have escaped and poisoned those living at the property.
Builder not registered with Gas Safe
The court heard an HSE investigation had established that Copp was not registered with Gas Safe.
Following the court case, HSE inspector Simon Jones said Copp had put the family’s lives at risk by ignoring a law which states that only engineers on the Gas Safe register can work with gas.
He said while the flue should have taken waste gases outside the property it had actually ended inside the house.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 20, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown