Company fined following carbon monoxide poisoning

Apollo Property Services Group Ltd, now part of Keepmoat Group has been ordered to pay more than £300,000 in fines, costs and compensation after seven people were hospitalised when carbon monoxide (CO) fumes escaped into their homes.

The company was sentenced in relation to the incident in Camden, which occurred between 18 February and 18 March 2008.

During a two week trial, The Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court) heard that seven residents were exposed to CO because boiler flues servicing the flats were obstructed during roof refurbishment work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Apollo knew that some flues may still be serving boilers in the properties, but did not have an adequate system for inspecting them, so work continued without checks being carried out.

It was also revealed that the company failed to ensure that the work was sufficiently supervised, and it did not ensure that workers were familiar with safe working practices in relation to gas flues or were aware of the dangers.

Apollo Property Services Group Ltd was fined £165,000, ordered to pay £117,582 in costs and a total of £19,000 in compensation after being found guilty of breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety etc. at Work Act 1974.

Following the sentencing, HSE Inspector Helen Donnelly, said:

“Despite the client’s adviser warning the company to consider the risk of blocking or covering flues at the start of the refurbishment project, the company did not assess the risks to residents or have a safe system to ensure flues serving live boilers were not obstructed.

“Moreover, as part of one of the UK’s largest property service organisations, Apollo Property Services Group Limited is very experienced in refurbishing housing estates so there is no reason for this incident to have happened.”

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