Staff fear for safety after carbon monoxide leak

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 October 2018

Staff from a Weston store say they are ‘putting their lives at risk’ following a number of carbon monoxide scares at the premises.

Fire and ambulance services have been called to Toolstation in Oldmixon Crescent four times over the past three months to treat staff with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

The most recent incident happened on September 22 at 6pm when Avon Fire and Rescue Service was called out to a suspected carbon monoxide leak.

Crews also attended on July 12 when they administered oxygen therapy to five casualties and evacuated four buildings.

South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) was also called out on September 4 and August 4 to treat members of staff.

A member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: “Carbon monoxide has been a problem at Toolstation in Weston now.

“Staff members have been sent to hospital and been on oxygen. Each day staff are putting their lives at risk. As they say it’s a silent killer.”

Health and safety experts have confirmed the gas is coming from AJ’s Karting and staff there have been working with North Somerset Council and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) since June to try to alleviate the cause.

Owner Mark Kellow last week told the Mercury: “We’ve been here for 10 years and never had a problem before.

“We’ve been working with the health and safety executive (HSE) and the council and we’ve done everything it has asked us.

“It’s because the buildings we have are so old, they leak like a tea bag.

“We’ve made a conscious decision to do something radical, so we are closing our petrol karts down.

“They haven’t put any prohibitions on us, we have voluntarily decided to go more environmentally friendly.

“We are going to have electric karts, segways and indoor cycling.

“It’s more expensive to us, but we are doing this to benefit Weston. We want to be a responsible company.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman added: “Due to efficient and enhanced ventilation systems, carbon monoxide levels at AJ’s Karting have never exceeded the work place exposure limit (WEL) however on several occasions there have been elevated levels for short periods in the Toolstation store, triggering calls to Avon Fire and Rescue.

“No measurements have been taken which constitute a breach of the WEL in Toolstation.

“In order to resolve the issue, the owners of AJ’s Karting decided to change to electric go karts as of last Sunday.

“The karting facility will continue to be run alongside the laser quest business.”

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