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Health and Safety Breach Results in Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A pregnant woman in Kirkby, Merseyside suffered a near-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning when a building firm in Chorley, Lancashire were found guilty of breaching health and safety at work laws.

Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the building company when it was discovered the household’s flue had been blocked. In late October of 2013 the unnamed mother to be lit her gas fire against the first of the winter cold. Having spent most of the afternoon and evening by the fire with her friend, also pregnant, she later developed flu-like symptoms and began vomiting.

With suspicions of carbon monoxide poisoning, an HSE investigation revealed the flue had been blocked during a loft conversion on the neighbours’ half of the semi-detached house carried out by Topflite Ltd earlier in the summer.

Topflite Ltd, of Steeley Lane in Chorley, was fined following a guilty plea to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western said, “Building firms have a legal duty to ensure the lives of both their workers and people affected by their work are not put at risk as a result of their actions. Topflite failed to meet that requirement and found itself in court as a result.”

Silent, Scentless Killer

Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless, making it very difficult to detect. Carbon Monoxide can kill quickly; symptoms are similar to that of food poisoning or viral infections with headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, loss of consciousness, fatigue, chest and stomach pains, and erratic behaviour.

The HSE’s latest statistics show a total of 316 non-fatal carbon monoxide incidents in the UK in the previous year with three people fatally inflicted by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can potentially go unnoticed by medical professionals before it is too late. Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience in representing people who have felt ill for a long period of time without knowing why. We work with liability engineers to prove negligence or breaches of Health and Safety regulations that caused the carbon monoxide poisoning. We also use highly qualified toxicologists and neurologists to establish the extent of the carbon monoxide poisoning.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers represent people in all types of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claims. For a free consultation call our No Win, No Fee Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers can provide legal representation and rehabilitation support anywhere in the UK from our offices in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Merseyside, Cambridge, Derby or from our meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire or in Hull, Yorkshire.

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