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Suspended Jail Sentence for Roofer Who Exposed Couple To Fumes

July 15, 2014
Health and Safety

chimneyA roofing contractor was given a four month prison sentence (suspended for two years) and ordered to pay £500 compensation after being found guilty of breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act at Luton Magistrates Court.

The case was taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive after building work at a property in Swan Lane Luton resulted in a build-up of combustion fumes within the property’s roof space. The householders had called in Kings Roofing and Durable Plastics to fix a water leak between a double chimney stack and the roof tiles at the property.

In carrying out the repair, workers failed to check if the flue for a gas fire in the back bedroom of the property was still in working order. A subsequent investigation, launched after a gas engineer was called in, revealed that the flue had been blocked by the building works, leading to a build-up of dangerous fumes within the property for over a year.

Presenting the case for the prosecution, the Health and Safety Executive pointed out that a simple smoke test would have highlighted the issue on completion of the work. HSE Inspector Robert Meardon, who led the investigation, said “Sub-standard work created an on-going breach and a prolonged risk to the safety of a vulnerable and elderly couple. It cost them a huge amount of unnecessary anxiety and a considerable amount of money to rectify, on top of the savings they had used to pay the builders for the work.”