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Paignton contractor puts lives at risk

A gas flue was removed during a re-roofing contract potentially putting a tenant’s life at risk.

Gary Redman, 55, of Broadlands Road, Paignton, was in control of roofing works above a flat on Marldon Road, Paignton during March 2014 but during the works the flue to the gas boiler in the flat below was removed.

Mr Redman’s work was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted him at Plymouth Magistrates’ court.

During the trial the court heard the flue had been detached from the boiler where it passed through the flat roof.

The tenant in the property tried to use the boiler but found it did not work. On investigating, the tenant saw that the flue had been removed completely where it passed through the roof and later saw the flue had been replaced in the hole in the flat roof but not re-connected to the boiler.

The work was checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer who classed the flue as ’immediately dangerous’ and contacted HSE.

Mr Redman had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing but was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, after a trial and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 prosecution costs.

HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Gary Redman’s negligence could have cost lives. A boiler not connected to a flue and could send waste gas into a building is a clear and well known risk.

“Anyone removing gas flues must make sure they are properly replaced and connected to gas appliances and that work is undertaken by a member of Gas Safe Register.

“Anyone undertaking building work around a flue must ensure their building work does not affect the flue or gas appliance in any way.”

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