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Housing association put pregnant mother at risk of explosion
Published:  01 May, 2015

A pregnant mother and her two children were left at risk after a housing association carried out unsafe gas work at their rented property.

A handyman was dispatched to cut a gas pipe that was causing a tripping hazard in the living room of Danielle Gough’s home in Fulham, London in May 2014, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

As the housing association staff believed the gas pipe was not connected to the gas supply, they did not ensure the handyman was Gas Safe registered.

When Ms Gough topped up her prepayment meter that evening, gas flooded into the property causing a serious risk of fire and explosion. Fortunately, there were no injuries and there was no damage to the property.

Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association pleaded guilty to breaching its responsibilities as an employer under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The court imposed a £2,500 fine, which took into account the ‘not for profit’ status of the organisation and its previous record, and ordered the Association to pay £1,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Zameer Bhunnoo said: “It is essential that landlords have adequate procedures in place to ensure that an appropriately competent tradesperson is assigned for any repairs required. In this case, a Gas Safe registered engineer should have been used.”

Image: Shutterstock/Alena Ozerova