“Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Still a Threat,” Says Asons Solicitors
On the 20th of August 2010, National Grid PLC caused a dangerous leak whilst performing routine maintenance on a street in Hunnington. Had the gas been ignited, it would have caused a devastating explosion.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is far less common than it used to be. With improved construction and maintenance standards, gas systems are more robust and safer than ever before, so the number of carbon monoxide poisoning claims are decreasing. There are still risks however, negligent maintenance, ’cowboy’ jobs, old gas systems and appliances still pose a very real threat.
On the 20th of August 2010, National Grid PLC caused a dangerous leak whilst performing routine maintenance on a street in Hunnington. The existing gas supply was drawn from a low pressure main on the opposite side of the road, so engineers made the decision to connect it to a medium pressure iron main on the same side as the house.
Unfortunately, their records on existing gas mains had not been updated, so these engineers left the street not realising that they had unintentionally drilled through a plastic main contained within the iron main. As a result, gas leaked out and found its way into a home some 150 metres away from the first.
Later that day, a report was filed claiming a member of the public could smell gas; so a second team went out to investigate. They were able to locate the affected home by inserting a probe through the letterbox, confirming dangerous CO2 levels, but were unable to gain access as the residents were away.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated this incident and found that the leak could have been avoided had National Grid PLC updated their records to note to existence of the plastic main; such records had existed since 2006. During proceedings at Dudley Magistrates’ Court, National Grid PLC pleaded guilty for the breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 under section 3(1). They were later fined £17,500 as well as costs of £8,192.
It was found that the holed drilled was three quarters of an inch wide and had allowed more than half a tonne of gas to escape; enough to cause an explosion had it been ignited.
Mr Imran Akram, Managing Director of Asons Solicitors stated that:
"It was extremely fortunate that the home owners were away at the time; a leak of this magnitude presented a very real risk to the public and it demonstrates the importance in engineers having accurate pipeline records. Luckily, National Grid PLC had engineers on-hand to investigate and rectify the fault,
"This September, a Wiltshire man was found to have performed central heating, gas and electrical works between 2007 and 2009 without any certification of any kind, presenting imminent danger to those in the homes where work was carried out"
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Wiltshire Council’s trading standards pursued a joint prosecution when it was found that the man in question had claimed to be CORGI registered as well as falsely advertising approval by the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC).
The laws regarding gas safety certification are there to ensure that works are carried out to a high standard to minimise the risk of death or serious injury that would result from gas, fume leaks or explosions. We deal with a variety of carbon monoxide poisoning claims and so we’re well aware of the serious consequences that such works can have if carried out improperly" adds Mr Akram.
If you feel that you may have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, or a gas leak, contact Asons solicitors today to find out if you are eligible to make a carbon monoxide poisoning claim. Asons Solicitors can provide information on preventative safety measures as well as advising on the next steps to take when dealing with incidents involving gas.
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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in industrial disease and personal injury claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.
For further information visit:
- Contact Information
- Imran Akram
- Managing Director
- Asons Solicitors
- (44) (0) 844 850 1062
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