Incorrect work on a gas flue during the extension of a residential property put lives at risk, a court has been told.
Wedgewood Design and Build Limited, the company responsible for the work at the property on Greenside Road, in West London, admitted breaching gas safety regulations during the build between June 2013 and June 2014.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said harmful gases could have easily seeped back into the house.
Wrong type of pipe
A gas flue is a pipe or channel through which gases from appliances like fireplaces, ovens, furnaces, boilers or steam generators are released.
In this case, the extension work across the full width of the house required the gas flue to be repositioned.
Southwark Crown Court heard how the company extended the existing gas flue but boxed it in to an empty space, meaning there was no way it could be examined. It also used an incorrect type of pipe for the flue.
Gas Safe-registered engineers need to be able to see the flue in order to carry out essential safety checks.
Wedgewood Design and Build Limited, of Ballards Lane, London, pleaded guilty to an offence under Regulation 8 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. It was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.
Safety is paramount
Gas work must always be carried out by engineers listed on the Gas Safe Register.
Work carried out by unregistered workers has the potential to lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, often known as a silent killer because the gas is colourless and odourless, making it difficult to detect.
Landlords are responsible for rented properties, while it is up to homeowners to make sure their property is safe.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 11, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown