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Prosecution over carbon monoxide poisoning

BY Matthew Ramsey
Health & Safety

This insidious combustion by-product all too often proves how deadly it can be. In our health and safety careers we have investigated leaks and exposures and continue to promote the need for regular maintenance of gas equipment and safe working practices. Given you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, the need for detectors close to the source are paramount.Yet we regularly see prosecutions against companies for failing to address the risks. As in the case of Westlands Construction Ltd who were fined £16,000 with £847.00 costs for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The prosecution came about after the company was found to have erected a makeshift tent within a fish factory in order to prevent the dust generated by their petrol powered saw contaminating the surrounding surfaces.What they failed to consider was where the exhaust fumes from the saw would go. In this case, they stayed in the tent, where the workers slow succumbed to the fumes leading to one of them being hospitalised.

We know the impact an event like this can have on people, which is why Law at Work will always ensure that the statutory checks are carried out; as well as assisting you to carry out due diligence checks on contractors when requested.

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