Gas Safety charity warns installers to be vigilant after CO death

Published:  19 January, 2011

Carbon monoxide charity CO-Gas Safety is calling for all installers to be equipped with personal air/alarm monitors following the death of installer Matthew Nixon.

Carbon monoxide charity CO-Gas Safety is calling for all installers to be equipped with personal air/alarm monitors (PAMs) following the death of installer Matthew Nixon, who died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning while installing a central heating system at a vacant flat in Macclesfield.

Stephanie Trotter OBE, president and director of CO-Gas Safety, said: "We were devastated to hear of the tragic death of Matthew Nixon, aged only 22. We send our deepest sympathy to his parents and friends.

"We were particularly shocked to hear that Matthew was a registered gas installer. We had hoped that training for registered gas installers would at least mean they would know how to protect themselves from CO. CO is such an unknown danger.

"We have been lobbying for gas emergency service personnel to carry and use flue gas analysers so that gas appliances can be tested for CO, for about 15 years. Surely no consumer, who suspects CO can be made safe, unless the source of the CO is found.

"Yet the gas emergency service does not carry or use equipment to test for CO despite the recommendation that they should, made by the Health and Safety Commission (now Executive) in 2000. Surely this is like sending out people to 'make safe' from radiation without Geiger counters?

"Scotia Gas (part of the gas emergency service) does at least equip its personnel with personal air/alarm monitors (PAMs) and is to be congratulated.

"We have also been lobbying for all emergency service personnel to be so equipped and, since the death of Matthew Nixon, for all gas installers to be so equipped. Why does the HSE fail to force employers to provide a safe system of work for their employees?"