Workers in the UK could be at risk from the dangers of gas and carbon monoxide, new research suggests.
It found one in five small businesses have experienced gas health and safety issues, which includes unsafe appliances and carbon monoxide or gas leaks.
That has led to lost trading hours (14%), lost revenue (11%) and businesses have had to buy new boilers (14%).
According to British Gas, landlords must complete annual safety checks and provide on-going maintenance but 17% of firms said they don’t have their gas appliance checked even once a year by a qualified engineer.
The energy company’s survey of more than 500 senior managers also revealed more than a third of businesses don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm at work.
When asked what they would do if they smelt gas on their business premises, 41% said they would switch off the electrics which is said to be “extremely dangerous” as it could spark an explosion.
The survey also found 16% would try to work out which appliance was leaking gas while 1% said they would shut all windows and doors to keep gas inside the building.
The research is part of British Gas’ plans to raise awareness of safety issues as the annual national campaign ‘Gas Safety Week’ kicks off today.
Vincent Thomas, Field Service Manager at British Gas Business, said: “It’s crucial that businesses take gas safety seriously. I’ve seen some alarming stuff over the years in all different types of businesses – from factories to nursing homes. When something goes wrong it can stop a business in its tracks and have a serious effect on finances, staff and customers.
“Our engineers visit over 1,000 businesses every week sand find that many customers don’t think about the risks of carbon monoxide and gas leaks at work the same way as they might at home. It’s absolutely essential to get any commercial gas appliance regularly serviced and maintained.”