Its good to see that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is bringing a few cases against landlords who flout the gas regulations.
Health and Safety Executive v Khalid Hussein – Walsall Magistrates Court – November 2011
In this case the gas boiler broke down in January 2011. Despite having an improvement notice served on him requiring him to produce a gas safety certificate for the gas installations in the house by May 2011, landlord Khalid Hussein did not take action until October.
When an engineer finally arrived to do the work, found the gas cooker to be dangerous and had to isolate it. A certificate was finally produced in October.
After pleading guilty to section 33(1)(g) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and regulation 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, Hussein was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.
The case is reported on the HSE website here.
Health and Safety Executive v Long – City of London Magistrates Court – December 2011
This was an extremely serious case, which it is clear from the report on the HSE website, could easily have been fatal
City of London Magistrates’ Court heard that on 4 March 2009 ambulance and fire crews were called to an address in Elgin Road, Croydon, where they found several people suffering flu-like symptoms and dizziness. One tenant thought he was having a heart attack.
Five residents were taken from the property, belonging to landlord James Long, to Princess Royal University hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Three needed to be transferred to Whipps Cross hospital for specialist hyperbaric treatment.
A subsequent HSE investigation found that:
- there was no landlord’s gas safety certificate;
- the gas hob, boiler and flue had not been inspected by a qualified gas engineer; and
- the carbon monoxide was coming from a gas boiler in the cellar. Gas engineers found a taped-up air vent in the cellar.
After pleading guilty to breaching regulation 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, Long was fined an eye popping but entirely justified £24,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000.