Black Country building firm fined £18,000 for unsafe gas job
A Black Country building company and its director have been fined £18,000 after unsafe construction work almost led to a family being poisoned.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how MD Building Contractors Ltd, based in Oldbury, was contracted to fit a kitchen extension at Brooklyn Avenue in Aston, Birmingham, between July 26 and August 28 back in 2017.
But an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that before work started, a pre-existing gas boiler had been found in the kitchen with its flue going out of the back wall.
During the work the original flue outlet was removed and an external wall was built around it.
This had the effect of completely enclosing the flue inside the wall with no direct external exit point for the boiler to safely vent outside.
As a result the family of six living in the house were exposed to the risk of inhaling the products of the boiler burning, including carbon monoxide.
Director of the company Manjit Singh Dhaliwal, of Manor Road, Halesowen, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £431.50.
MD Building Contractors, of Oak Road, Oldbury, pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety laws. The company was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £513.10.
HSE principal inspector Tony Mitchell said: "Every year, around seven people die from CO poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated.
"Manjit Singh Dhaliwal was negligent in his duties as sole director to ensure that during refurbishment of the property that existing gas fittings were not adversely affected.
"All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life."
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