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Sun October 17 2021

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Willmott Dixon fined £1.25m after gas leaks

24 Sep 18 A Willmott Dixon subsidiary has been fined £1.25m after exposing members of the public to deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Aylesbury Crown Court heard how, on 11th December 2014, at Hamilton House in Wolverton, a number of gas installations were found to be either immediately dangerous or at risk following the report of a smell of gas by a resident.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Willmott Partnership Homes Ltd built the flats several years before the incident and in 2014 some remedial was work needed to be carried out on an external wall. During the demolition and reconstruction of the wall, many live flues of gas boilers were removed damaged and blocked, exposing the residents to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Willmott Partnership Homes Ltd was the principal contractor and had failed to ensure that an adequate system of work was in place to manage the risks from working around the live flues, the HSE found.

Willmott Partnership Homes Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £1.25m and ordered to pay cost of nearly £24,000.

HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said after the hearing: “Risks from gas installations, including those related to carbon monoxide, need to be managed by all during refurbishment. This incident could have been avoided if the company had implemented a safe isolation system for the live boilers.”

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