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Badly maintained gas boiler puts tenants in hospital

Tenants at a house in Worcester had to be hospitalised on March 16, 2009, following their exposure to carbon monoxide fumes from a gas boiler.
The incident led the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to prosecute the poisoned tenants' landlord Shazad Ishaq who pleaded guilty to contravening Regulations 36(2)(a) and 36(6)(b) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,500 costs by Worcester Magistrates on July 27.

The HSE identified inadequate air supply to the boiler which was housed in a kitchen cupboard, inadequate cleaning and maintenance of the boiler, particularly the filters, visual signs of soot and flue gas spillage on the inside of the cupboard and boiler casing and that the flue was 'not to current standards'.

The court heard that before the family was evacuated, a National Grid engineer identified a flue gas spillage and the gas supply to the boiler and cooker hob was disconnected.

HSE Inspector Janice Willets said: 'The gas inspector's investigation concluded that no maintenance or cleaning work appeared to have been carried out on the boiler for a considerable period prior to the incident. Further investigations also showed a landlord's gas safety certificate had not been made available to the tenant for several months'.
30 July 2009

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