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Beware the silent killer in the work place!

01 Jan 2018

How safe are you in the workplace?

Did you know there are around 25 accidental deaths a year in the UK caused by carbon monoxide poisoning? They call it the silent killer because it cannot be seen or smelt and the symptoms of poisoning, tiredness, dizziness and nausea, can easily be mistaken for those of a common cold or flu.   

Legal obligation or moral duty?

At present there is no legal obligation to carry out an inspection or fit a carbon monoxide detector in a commercial premises. The question of whether the legal obligation should be placed with a commercial landlord or business owner is a subject that has been debated within the gas industry for many years – and there are very different opinions.

We believe that - legal obligation or not -  it is a moral duty to take action. If you rent a domestic property there is a legal obligation for the landlord, or the agent on behalf of the landlord, to carry out an annual inspection and ensure the safety of any gas appliances that belong to the landlord. Yet, even though the issue affects all workplaces - from a one-room office to a factory or warehouse - this is not the case for the commercial/industrial sector.

In a commercial lease, the responsibility of maintenance and repair is often passed from landlord to the business owner, or occupier, upon signing the lease. Our problem is not with the law, nor the gas safe register or even the landlords. We simply strongly believe that business owners should be required to take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of their staff, whether it be a legal obligation or not.

It's easy to prevent 

Many offices and workplaces have domestic boilers located in areas that are frequented by members of staff - such as staff-rooms workspaces and kitchenettes - and these should be serviced or inspected regularly including checking safety devices to ensure they function correctly and efficiently, flue systems to ensure they are sound and ventilation to ensure it is not blocked and is adequately sized.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector provides an audible indication of carbon monoxide being detected. Although compulsory for solid fuel burning appliances such as log burners, carbon monoxide detectors are often neglected in relation to boilers.

A detector can be purchased for as little as £12.00 and it is a very small price to pay to ensure the wellness of employees and peace of mind. This, plus an annual service could be enough to identify and repair potential hazards and avert injury, harm or worst case a fatality.

Don't wait - take action now! 

If you are an employer, or the appointed health and safety officer for a business, act now! Install a carbon monoxide detector and get your appliances checked.  If you are an employee, and are concerned about the condition of a gas appliance - voice your concerns and ask the for a safety inspection to be carried out.

We can arrange to service your boiler and install a carbon monoxide detector - for more information contact Epic on 0117 322 6158 or email us and we will get back to you. 

Content of this article is the opinion of Epic Heating, it does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any other governing bodies within the gas industry.



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