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Blackburn landlord fined over carbon monoxide poisoning

The landlord of a Blackburn business unit has been found guilty of a health and safety offence after two people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from a dangerous gas heater.

Tests showed that the two employees at a blinds showroom on Whalley New Road, Blackburn, had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, and one had to be kept in overnight and treated with oxygen.

The building’s landlord, Mohammed Asghar, 46, of Whalley New Road in Blackburn, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found he had failed to ensure the gas heater he provided at the showroom was safe.

Mr Asghar was found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after he failed to ensure the gas heater was safe. He was fined £750 and ordered to pay £750 in costs on 28 March 2013.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Kitchingman said: “The workers were fortunate that the carbon monoxide did not rise to a fatal level. Customers were also potentially put at risk when they visited the showroom.

“Landlords need to make sure that equipment they provide for their tenants is adequately maintained and safe to use. Mr Asghar provided the gas heater at the showroom and therefore should have made sure it was safe.

“Landlords of commercial properties should make sure that contracts clearly state who is responsible for maintaining gas boilers and appliances so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.”

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