Construction News

Mon June 21 2021

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Suspended jail sentence for builder who messed with the gas

17 May A construction company director has been given a suspended jai sentence and a community service order for leaving a gas boiler in a dangerous condition while building a home extension.

David Coulson's building work [Photo courtesy of HSE]
David Coulson's building work [Photo courtesy of HSE]

Residents of the property in Newcastle were placed at a serious risk of ill health, including carbon monoxide poisoning, during the building work.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Magistrates’ Court heard that, construction work was carried out at a domestic property on Lichfield Avenue, from April 2018, which affected the safe working condition of the gas boiler and flue at the property. The family of three, a mother and her two children, remained living in the house while the extension was built.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that David Coulson, director of Coulson Constructions North East Ltd, did not make the gas system in the house safe before or during the construction work, allowing the fumes and poisonous gases from the boiler to flow into the extended house. He was not Gas Safe registered, as is required by law for such work.

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David Coulson of Gofton Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 and Section 20 (2)(j) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, given 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £5,200

HSE inspector Paul Wilson said after the hearing: “Construction work can and must be planned properly to ensure the health and safety of those potentially affected throughout the building project.

“Any work on a gas system, including the boiler in our houses, must always be carried out by competent gas engineers, namely those accredited with Gas Safe Registration. Not to do so is both illegal and potentially very dangerous.”

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