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Better advice on Carbon Monoxide needed in the workplace

May 26, 2016 featured image

More awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide is needed in the workplace.

According to new research conducted by British Gas and YouGov, small businesses are not doing enough to protect their customers and employees from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide.

According to the survey one in five businesses asked admitted that they had experienced gas health and safety issues at work, including carbon monoxide leaks.

British Gas is calling on SME’s to take action and become more aware of the dangers and ways of preventing potentially fatal situations.

The dangers of CO are well publicised in the home but much less so where people work yet the dangers remain the same. More than a third (36%) of businesses surveyed said a carbon monoxide alarm was not fitted on all of their business’ premises.

There is currently no specific regulation in the UK for business premises to have to install carbon monoxide detectors for their gas appliances.

Commercial gas engineers should be recommending that alarms be installed if a boiler or gas appliance is near any inhabited space where workers or customers work or rest, or near a bedroom.

Under wider health and safety and gas regulations all employers have a legal duty to ensure that their gas systems are correctly maintained and safe to use.

Commercial property tenants may also be directly responsible for the maintenance and repair of the properties boiler and gas appliances.

Previous research from British Gas and YouGov (carried out in 2015) found that 1 in 5 SME’s surveyed had experienced gas health and safety issues such as Carbon Monoxide leaks, at their current or previous business premises.

British Gas’ simple checks to stay gas safe:

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your property. If you are a landlord you can buy them online and have it delivered direct to your tenants to install themselves with minimal effort.
  • Look for signs of staining, soot or discoloration on, or around your gas boiler, fire or water heater. These can be signs of carbon monoxide. Also keep air vents providing fresh clean air to your gas appliances.
  • Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be similar to the flu.
  • Maintain and service your gas appliances and pipework on an annual basis.
  • Any gas service, installation or repair should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer that is qualified to work on commercial gas appliances and pipework. All British Gas engineers are Gas Safe registered.
  • Keep a record of any gas work carried out.
  • Take out a service plan if your business relies on heating or gas appliances.
  • If you notice anything wrong, stop using the appliance immediately, open windows and doors to ventilate your business and call the Gas Emergency Services Helpline on 0800 111 999 (24hrs). You should also seek medical advice.

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