Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court heard how on, 9th March 2016, self-employed Robert Thompson was in control of work to remove a chimney at a house in Llanharan. Mr Thompson put his co-workers at risk of falling from the roof. He also exposed the homeowners and others who visited the property to deadly carbon monoxide.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the gas supply to the property was not isolated before or during the day’s work. Rubble fell down the chimney, damaging and blocking the flue. The investigation also found that no scaffolding or other fall protection was in place to work safely at height.
Robert Thompson of Meadowbank Close, Cwmbach, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan was found guilty of breaching Section 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations and Regulation 8(2) of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998. He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, plus 180 hours community work. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
HSE inspector Simon Breen said after the hearing: “Persons carrying out building work, particularly on chimneys, must make sure that they do not block or obstruct an air supply vent or flue and risk the lives of those in the property. They also need to take suitable precautions to prevent workers falling and suffering serious injuries.”