We’ve analysed the dangers of working with carbon monoxide (CO) before, but what happens to those who ignore this warning?

Sadly, this negligence often results in injury, illness or – in the worst case scenario – death. This should be more than enough persuasion for people unsure of the rules and regulations surrounding CO to consider taking a refresher course or retraining completely.

For people working with this gas, safety should always be the highest priority.

What happens when safety standards slip?

The effect of an absolute worst case scenario was seen in a UK case that went before the courts in 2012, where an incorrect boiler installation in December 2010 led to a CO leak at a residence.

This resulted in the death of a 24-year-old woman who succumbed to the colourless, odourless gas in her bathroom, causing her to collapse. The incident occurred only two weeks after a local tradesman incorrectly made repairs to the boiler in her home.

According to the courts, the gasfitter was deemed responsible, as the leak was caused by a faulty boiler flue that was fitted during the job. Because of this, the man was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, resulting in a criminal conviction and prison sentence.

The judge acknowledged that there was no malice in the events the unfolded. Despite this, the prosecution believed there was still a price that needed to be paid.

“There is no prospect at all of you committing further offences. This is simply the price that you must pay for an isolated but serious criminal offence,” the judge said, according to an article published by The Guardian on April 17 2012.

The gasfitter was sentenced to three years in prison as a result of the conviction.

How can you ensure you’re operating safely?

The best way to maintain safety standards is to use dependable instruments that provide accurate measurements so you never have to second guess yourself. While you might trust your gut instinct in most other situations, when working with CO it’s vital you minimise risk.

Instruments such as the Testo 310-1 Basic Flue Gas Analyser provide the perfect entry into the market for businesses looking to buy one for the first time or upgrade from an analogue equivalent.

All Testo devices are digital, a unique feature that sets them apart from the competition. This provides measurements, that are precise, easy to read, and – most importantly – accurate.