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Builder charged with gas safe failings

A construction business owner has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £845 after her company breached gas safety regulations.

The case was brought after a plumber was called to work at a premises in Tunbridge Wells where JBZ Builders had moved a flue for a gas boiler while making alterations to the property.

The plumber noticed the work was sub standard and, after alerting the Gas Safe Register, it was discovered that neither the owner of JBZ Builders or her son, who carried out the work, were registered.

A registered gas engineer was called and classified several parts of the system as ‘at risk’ or not up to the correct standards, which placed the family living at the property at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Health and Safety Executive was also alerted, resulting in the case being heard at Sevenoaks’ Magistrates Court on 9 September.

Josephine Zielinski, trading as JBZ Builders, of Bookham near Leatherhead in Surrey, was charged with a breach of Gas Safety Regulations, following the HSE investigation.

HSE Inspector Rob Hassell said: “This incident was entirely preventable and put a young family, including a new-born child, in unnecessary danger from exposure to carbon monoxide and other harmful by-products.

“Usually JBZ Builders use Gas Safe registered engineers for such work but on this occasion, and for the purpose of speed, Mrs Zielinski wrongly used an employee without the recognised competency.

“Work to a gas flue does constitute gas work, a fact that can be misunderstood in the construction industry. Such work should only be carried out by suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineers.”

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