Housing association fined for unsafe gas work at pregnant mum’s home in Fulham

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 - Health and Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a housing association for undertaking unsafe gas work at a rented property where a pregnant mother lived with her two children.

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association based in Flanders Road, Chiswick, London 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 and £1,000 costs, which took into account the ‘not for profit’ status of the organisation and its previous record.

An HSE investigation found that in May 2014 a handyman who was not registered with Gas Safe Register, was dispatched to cut a gas pipe that was causing a tripping hazard in the living room of the property in Fulham, London.

Apparently, the housing association staff believed the gas pipe was not connected to the gas supply, but when the tenant 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.

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.

More information about landlords’ responsibility for gas safety is available on the HSE website.