A HALESOWEN director and Black Country business have been fined £18,000 after unsafe gas work exposed a family to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how Oldbury-based MD Building Contractors Ltd was contracted to carry out a kitchen extension at Brooklyn Avenue, Aston, Birmingham, between July 26 and August 28 in 2017.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that before work started, a pre-existing gas boiler had been found in the kitchen with its flue going out of the rear wall.

Stourbridge News:

During the work the original flue outlet was removed, and an external wall was built around it. This had the effect of completely enclosing the flue inside the wall with no direct external exit point for the boiler to safely vent outside.

As a result the family of six living in the house were exposed to the risk of inhaling the products of the boiler burning, including carbon monoxide.

Director of the company Manjit Singh Dhaliwal, of Manor Road, Halesowen pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules. He has been sentenced to a fine of £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £431.50.

MD Building Contractors of Oak Road, Oldbury pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety installation laws. The company has been sentenced to a fine of £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £513.10.

Speaking after the hearing HSE principal inspector Tony Mitchell said: “Every year, around seven people die from CO poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated.

“Manjit Singh Dhaliwal was negligent in his duties as sole director to ensure that during refurbishment of the property that existing gas fittings were not adversely affected.

“All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”