Business owner fined for leaving family with a new-born at risk of CO poisoning

Published:  10 September, 2014

A young family were exposed to serious health risks after an unregistered, unqualified installer repositioned a gas flue at a home in Tunbridge Wells, as part of work on an extension.

A young family were exposed to serious health risks after an unregistered, unqualified installer repositioned a gas flue at a home in Tunbridge Wells, as part of work on an extension.

When the family called in a plumber to flush the system some time later, he noticed the flue installation was sub-standard and reported the issue to Gas Safe Register. During a visit in November 2013, a registered gas engineer classed several parts of the installation as either ‘at risk’ or not to current standards.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was alerted and, following an investigation, charged Ms Zielinski with a breach of gas safety regulations.

Josephine Zielinski, of Bookham, Leatherhead, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £845 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching gas safety law.

HSE inspector Rob Hassell said: “This incident was entirely preventable and put a young family, including a new-born child, in unnecessary danger from exposure to carbon monoxide and other harmful by-products.

“Usually JBZ Builders use Gas Safe registered engineers for such work but on this occasion, and for the purpose of speed, Mrs Zielinski wrongly used an employee without the recognised competency.

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