Gas leaks and other defects detected in new homes across Poole and Reading have prompted a £10,000 fine for a plumbing and heating firm based near Southampton.
Faults affected properties in Harbour Reach, Poole, and at Caversham Road in Reading.
The company, DSI Plumbing and Heating – along with self-employed Robert Percival and Andrew Church – were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found leaks, as well as wrongly-fitted flues and gas supply pipes at Harbour Reach, discovering substandard installation and inadequate and ineffective final checking and commissioning of the work concerned.
Heating was by internal gas boilers, with flue gases including carbon monoxide being vented to the open air via flues in building voids. Hatches always have to be installed so the flues can be regularly checked.
But there were none found in any of the flats’ ceilings, so safety checks could not be made. The result was that supply to all of the 340 gas meters were disconnected pending remedial action.
The HSE found installation work defects in 309 (more than nine-tenths) of the homes.
Meanwhile, at the Reading site, 40 homes were found to have gas installation defects and, here too, hatches had not been installed for inspections of the flue system, and there were gas supply and flue installation defects.
Andrew Church had completed commissioning documents without performing the checks needed.
The company, based at The Square, Fawley, admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs in addition to the fine.
Percival, of Legion Road, Poole, and Church, of Ensign Drive, Gosport, each admitted a breach of the Act and both were given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 costs. Percival had commissioned gas installations at one home, and Church made false document entries.
There were 261 flats and 79 town houses at Harbour Reach, and 60 flats at Caversham Road.