A Kent double glazing company with three outlets in Medway towns has been fined for safety failings after building a conservatory over a gas flue.
Family firm Supaglazing Ltd., of Strood, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for breaching gas safety regulations – the second time the firm has been convicted for such failings.
Dartford Magistrates’ Court was told (3 September) that the firm’s workers had constructed a conservatory over an existing gas flue for a boiler at a property on Beavor Road, Allington, Maidstone so there was no escape route for gases and other combustion products.
The homeowners, including a woman who was pregnant at the time, were living there with a child and were unaware of the potential dangers.
The incident came to light following a report from a registered Gas Safe engineer who went to the house to give an estimate for relocating a flue for a gas boiler.
Magistrates heard that HSE, which investigated the safety breach, had prosecuted the firm in January 2009. In that instance it had also built over an existing flue at a house in Maidstone.
Supaglazing Ltd, of Knight Road in Strood, which also has outlets in Dartford and Sittingbourne, admitted breaching the Gas Safety Regulations between 23 July and 2 October 2010. It was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £2,826 in costs.
After the hearing HSE Inspector Rob Hassell said:
“The family of this house were needlessly put at risk because of the firm’s reckless disregard for gas safety. It is foreseeable that a serious personal injury could occur when a gas boiler flue is enclosed within the confines of a conservatory.
“The fact that no serious health affects were suffered as a result of this breach is purely a matter of luck.
“Supaglazing should have learned from their previous conviction in January 2009 for a very similar offence. Companies that supply and install conservatories should be aware of the Gas Safety Regulations and ensure they comply with them. HSE will take robust enforcement action against any company found to be breaching them, whether an incident or injury has occurred or not.”
For further information on gas safety visit www.hse.gov.uk/gas.