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Carbon Monoxide Injury Research ‘Must Improve’

BBC Raises Concerns Over Incident Reporting


The quality of data put together on carbon monoxide deaths and injuries needs to be improved if safety standards are going to rise, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has demanded.

Reports from the BBC have raised concerns over the reporting of such incidents, with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) research showing a reduction but figures from the Gas Safety Trust suggesting the figure is higher.

According to the HSE, four people died and 117 suffered illness following carbon monoxide poisoning in the 12-month period to June 2010.

However, figures from the Gas Safety Trust suggested that, over a year-long period, over 80 people in London alone suffered such poisoning.

Irwin Mitchell represents a number of clients who have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, including three employees of an asbestos removal firm who suffered after gases leaked from a boiler of a decontamination unit.

Newlincs Services has been fined in relation to the incident following prosecution by the HSE.

Commenting on the issue, David Urpeth, national head of work accident claims at Irwin Mitchell said: “While the HSE does excellent work to demonstrate the importance of health and safety, the suggestion that its figures are not accurate is obviously a cause for concern.

“Gas safety is a paramount concern both in the workplace and at home, and the only way improvements will be seen in the standards is if proper and complete data is available on the issue.

“Cases relating to carbon monoxide are not uncommon and a HSE investigation last year highlighted that one pub franchise firm at one point had gas safety certificates for less than half of its premises.

“This issue cannot be ignored and I hope that the concerns raised by the BBC’s work will lead to growing awareness of the issue.”