Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

We recently wrote of a landlord who was fined for endangering his tenants with unsafe gas appliances and we reported that in the year up to 2009 15 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK.

The tragic consequences of exposure to fumes were illustrated recently when an employer was fined £30,000 following the death of an employee as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning at work.

The court heard that the employee was patrolling premises during a night shift when he was poisoned by fumes from a petrol-powered generator which had been used by his employers to power heating and lighting.

The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the employers after an investigation showed that they had failed to ensure that the generator used was safe and without risks to the health of employees. The employer’s own risk assessment had concluded that the generator ought not to have been used within the building, but he had failed to implement the findings of the risk assessment. The employer had also failed to provide his employees with the appropriate information, instruction and supervision in the use of the generator.

The employer pleaded guilty to  breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states; “It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”

Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP specialise in Employer’s Liability Law. If you require any advice please contact us on the above number.