September 24, 2018

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In Court

£1.25m fine for exposing public to fumes

Willmott Partnership Homes Ltd has been fined after exposing members of the public to carbon monoxide fumes.

A number of gas installations at Hamilton House in Wolverton were found to be either immediately dangerous or at risk after the smell of gas was reported by a householder in December 2014.

The HSE’s investigation found that Willmott Partnership Homes Ltd built the flats several years before the incident and in 2014 some remedial work was needed on an external wall. During the demolition and reconstruction of the wall, many live flues of gas boilers were removed, damaged and blocked, exposing the residents to a risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Willmott Partnership Homes Ltd, as the principal contractor, had not ensured that an adequate system of work was in place to manage the risks from working around the live flues.

The construction firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £1.25 million with costs of £23,972.33.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “Risks from gas installations, including those related to carbon monoxide, need to be managed by all during refurbishment.

“This incident could have been avoided if the company had implemented a safe isolation system for the live boilers.”

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