Health and safety audit finds substandard work on chimney

A builder put a family in danger due to incorrect work.  The family could have suffered from carbon monoxide fumes because chimney work did not go according to regulations. There was a blockage in the chimney, which led to the incident.  The builder was repairing a joint chimney for the property next door.  The work was carried out in 2010.  Unfortunately, quite a bit of the rubble from the joint chimney work was left in the chimney, creating a blocked flue for the neighbours.

When the homeowners used their chimney, they were put at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  This was a serious breach in health and safety.  The HSE was called in to examine the incident using health and safety audits to determine what occurred.  It was found that the subcontractors and the builder did not inform the joint chimney neighbours that work would be occurring on the flue and that the boiler needed to be turned off.

The carbon monoxide alarm was going off when the family came home.  Luckily, they were not home at the time.  The contractor was fined £2,000 plus £1,500 in costs for the breach.  The contractor also admitted to the breach in safety guidelines with the family.  This is an incident in which no one was hurt, but things could have gone much differently.  This is why the HSE felt it necessary to levy a fine against the builder for breach of safety.