Gas health and health and safety
- gas health and safety
A recent episode of the popular and well-loved Coronation Street soap, related a stereotypical gas health and safety accident story. It hardly inspired any Christmas cheer, even if you were watching with few drinks, but unfortunately told an all too familiar story about one of the most common reasons for gas accidents.
Gas health and safety
Producers and writers had been working hand in hand with the professionals of the Gas Safety Register (GSR) to ensure the script was as realistic as possible and to raise awareness about the hazards anybody could encounter when using gas-powered equipment.
The official gas regulator organization for UK, Guernsey and Isle of Man is the Gas Safety Register.
We recommend before any work commences you check up on their on-line register and make sure the technician coming to install, check up or repair your gas appliances is registered with and approved by them.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced, when a gas installation is not fitted properly or is poorly maintained. It causes unconsciousness and kills without any warning, with symptoms like nausea, headaches, dizziness, breathlessness and so on this can be especially dangerous to detect if the victim is asleep.
The “silent killer” is estimated to have affected around 4000 people and produced 50 fatal accidents in the UK last year. The storyline featured in the episode of Coronation Street, is a very good reminder of the fact that if an accident like that happens, you might not be able to fight it on your own or lucky enough for somebody to find and rescue you in time.
Despite the well-known dangers that CO can cause, the statistics are getting even more worrying when stated that 43% of gas appliances are not checked regularly, as required with an alarming 10% which have never been checked.
The legislation on which gas health and safety is based is the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, detailing installation, maintenance and use of gas appliances for private and commercial areas.
Special attention to gas appliances has generally been adopted by landlords, letting agents and employers due to the pressure from insurance companies forcing them to comply with legislation probably from findings of a risk assessment. Unfortunately gas this is one of the hazards, anybody could encounter either at work, home or just as being a visitor in any commercial area.
Below we present you with a list for the main responsibilities of a landlord, homeowner and/ or employer contemplated in the Regulations. The aim is to make every possible action to ensure safety of the gas installation.
- Installation, check-up and reparation jobs have to be done by a registered and approved by the (GSR) engineer. Don’t just assume that your appliances are in great condition. Get them checked up by a professional.
- Keeping up the records of all visits and reparation (if any) jobs performed by the qualified engineer, for a period of 2 years.
- Any gas appliance provided by the landlord or letting agent is direct responsibility of them. When the tenant brings its own appliance, the landlord is not responsible for it, but is still liable for the pipe work which connects it to the gas supply.
- If installing a gas alarm in the property, ensuring that is complying with British Standard EN50291 and/ or carries a British or European approval mark, such as Kitemark.
- Rooms containing certain type of gas appliances cannot be converted to bedrooms, unless an atmosphere sensing device is installed.
- All Gas Registered Engineers carry an ID card, which details exactly on what type of appliances the carrier is qualified to work on.
- If you start recognizing the symptoms of CO poisoning, try to get fresh air as quick as possible and try to find help.
Until next time
Stay safe, stay well