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Builder Fined After Safety Failings Lead To Carbon Monoxide Death

Woman Killed By Exposure Following Fumes Build-Up In Property


A builder has been fined £15,000 after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches which led to the death of a 60-year-old woman by carbon monoxide poisoning.

John Martin Riva was prosecuted in relation to his work on a chimney on a property in Gifford between August and October 2009, when he failed to ensure that it was clear of debris and masonry materials that had fallen in.

Due to the blockages, fumes in the fireplace built when it was used and led to all three occupants of the house to be exposed to carbon monoxide. One occupant, Ceridwen Ross, died of exposure as a result.

Irwin Mitchell acts for those who have been left seriously injured following safety failings, as well as the families of those killed by such problems.

Elaine Russell, a Partner and specialist in serious injury claims at the firm’s Glasgow office, said: “Health and safety regulations and best practice exist to ensure that employers and workers keep anyone affected by their work safe from harm.

“Sadly, this terrible case demonstrates the huge consequences which can emerge when people fail to meet their responsibilities when it comes to health and safety.

“It is undoubtedly a stark reminder for contractors and construction workers to ensure they fully assess risks related to projects and, where necessary, take steps to ensure that any possible issues do not develop into a serious safety problem.”