Gas Safety Trust to help implement CO recommendations

Published:  01 August, 2012

The Gas Safety Trust has announced it will work with the All-Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group (APPGSG) to implement the recommendations outlined in the recent APPGSG report.

The Gas Safety Trust has announced it will work with the All-Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group (APPGSG) to implement the recommendations outlined in the recent APPGSG report.

The Trust has committed to working towards four of the recommendations, although it will continue to support the APPGSG’s work to achieve all 17 recommendations.

The Trust has already launched its first campaign, targeting the camping industry to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) when camping. This is in the light of rising numbers of fatalities and casualties reported in the last two years among campers and caravanners due to the effects of CO poisoning.

According to the APPGSG report, retailers selling camping and barbecue equipment, registered campsites and caravan sites should promote the dangers of carbon monoxide and the use of carbon monoxide alarms.

Gas Safety Trust board chair Chris Bielby said: "The launch of the research findings by the Gas Safety Trust represents a positive start to a co-ordinated approach, but there's still a lot of work to be done. It has helped APPGSG parliamentary activity to appeal for the support of government and the Health & Safety Executive to highlight the dangers and do more to prevent deaths, and seek funding for future projects."

The APPGSG report recommends joint activity aimed at government to ensure that GP surgeries and Accident & Emergency departments are trained to recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning, using the appropriate equipment whenever carbon monoxide exposure is suspected.

Building on the success of the initial activity, the Gas Safety Trust will also be engaging with ministers and collaborating with the Medical Research Council and other research funding bodies to carry out more CO research and set up a longitudinal study to assess the outcomes of acute and low-level exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the coming months, the Gas Safety Trust hopes to persuade government and the medical profession to trial GPs prescribing a Gas Safety Check for suspected carbon monoxide cases and facilitate a study of the neurological effects of repeated exposure to carbon monoxide at low levels.

Figures released by the Gas Safety Trust on carbon monoxide incidents for 2010/11 confirm that of the eight fatalities reported involving natural gas in the home, five were associated with central heating appliances, two with cookers and one with a space heater. The most frequent single cause of all 50 incidents during the year was flue/terminal fault (24%), followed by lack of servicing (19%), and appliance fault (17%).

The risk of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK associated with the use of mains natural gas and piped LPG was highlighted in the findings of a report funded by the Gas Safety Trust. The report identifies common concerns involved in incidents related to appliance and system design, the home environment, installation, servicing and maintenance. 

The full DIDR Report is available at www.gas-safety-trust.org.uk

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