Lidl depot builder wins five-figure payout after inhaling poisonous gases in London warehouse

A builder who collapsed after being overcome by poisonous gases while working on a Lidl warehouse has won a five-figure settlement. 

Luke Daniels, 29, and fellow construction workers said they had raised concerns about ventilation at the building in Belvedere, south-east London, before they fell ill. 

Hours later they were taken to hospital having inhaled dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Mr Daniels, who still suffers from anxiety and severe headaches, launched a civil action against his former employer, CC Contracting Ltd, and was awarded thousands of pounds when the case was settled. 

The company was also fined £50,000 by the Health and Safety Executive for breaches. 

Mr Daniels, who now lives at his parents’ flat in Spain, was part of a team subcontracted to carry out a “concrete pour” at the Lidl distribution depot in August 2014, using petrol and diesel-powered machines.

He said: “The engines all started up around 8am and we’d been breathing in the fumes all morning. I first knew something was wrong around noon when I started to get a headache and feel sick.” 

It was at around 4pm when the first person collapsed. Mr Daniels, who is a scuba diver, said he knew from diving training that it was gas pollution. 

“I was on the on the phone to the ambulance when I collapsed as well. I came round in hospital on oxygen. 

“My carbon monoxide blood levels were tested about two hours after I collapsed and I was found to have 18 per cent carboxyhaemoglobin in my blood. It would have been much higher earlier.”

After his release from hospital he continued to suffer dizziness and severe headaches as well as flashbacks. 

Mr Daniels said many in the construction industry were so fearful of losing pay that they would rather risk their lives than raise concerns. He urged people to speak up if they were worried about safety at work, adding: “Nothing is worth more than your life.” 

His lawyer, Madelene Holdsworth, from Slater and Gordon, said: “What happened to Luke is dreadful and he is lucky to have survived what was a very acute poisoning due to this deadly gas. His life has altered dramatically as a result of what happened to him.”

A Lidl spokeswoman said: “Lidl UK takes the health, safety and welfare of employees and contractors very seriously and expects that the highest standards are achieved on all of our sites. Any incidents reported to us are fully and thoroughly investigated to ensure that appropriate action is taken.” 

CC Contracting Ltd declined to comment.

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