Care home evacuated after gas leak

30 May 2013

A care home provider has received a hefty fine after illegal gas work at one of its units forced the evacuation of frail, older residents.

Dumfries and Galloway Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday how Harveys Healthcare Ltd allowed unqualified handymen to install two gas boilers at the Queensberry Care Home in Sanquhar.

Harveys Healthcare Ltd admitted it had failed to ensure that the men they asked to upgrade the unit's central heating were qualified to do so and on the Gas Safe Register. The court was told how staff at the care home detected a strong smell of gas coming from a boiler room on 3 February 2010 and they were advised by Transco to evacuate the nine elderly and infirm residents from the affected unit.

A qualified gas engineer inspected the work and found it to be "shoddy and dangerous". He classed it as 'immediately dangerous' and cut the gas supply. He also said he was uncertain about the authenticity of the gas safety certificates that came with the boilers.

The Health and Safety Executice (HSE) investigated the incident and discovered that the registered heating engineer whose name was on the certificates was not responsible for the work and some of the details on them were incorrect, the court heard.

The court also heard that the HSE found the man believed to have put in the boilers, Abdul Kareem, had never been on the Gas Safe Register or the CORGI system.

Harveys Healthcare Ltd, of Laurie's Wynd, Sanquhar, was fined £55,000 after pleading guilty to safety breaches of Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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