A builder caused the death of a woman by failing to properly clear a chimney he had rebuilt in her home.
John Martin Riva was contracted to work on the chimney of the Ross family in Gifford in 2009, but did not fully clear it of debris afterwards, leaving it blocked.
As a result, when the fire was brought into use, fumes built up, exposing three members of the family to carbon monoxide and leading to the death of Ceridwen Ross, 60.
On Wednesday, Mr Riva, 49, pleaded guilty of contravening the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £15,000 at Haddington Sherrif Court.
After the case, Elaine Taylor, head of the COPFS Health and Safety Division, said: “This case demonstrates yet again the importance of employers and contractors being aware of the risks not only to their own employees, but to all of those who may be affected by the work they carry out.
“If Mr Riva had taken the simple steps necessary to identify the risks associated with his work and acted upon them, Mrs Ross would not have lost her life in an entirely avoidable incident.”
Health and safety Executive inspector Gillian McLean added: “This was a tragic incident which could easily have been prevented if the accused had carried out simple and well-established tests to ensure the chimney was free from obstruction following building work he had carried out.
"These are standard and recognised tests well known to the building industry and we hope this successful prosecution will draw attention to these tests to ensure workers carry them out in the future in order to avoid similar devastating consequences."
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