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Danger claim over council's bathtubs.

Byline: Brendan Hughes

BATHTUBS in council homes across Cardiff have been described as "death traps" - after being fitted the wrong way round, householders claim.

Concerned tenants say their baths have not been fitted in line with the manufacturer's guidance by failing to place the non-slip end of the tub underneath the shower head.

Several residents have told the Echo their baths have been fitted incorrectly, causing them to slip and fall over while showering.

Cardiff council admitted that some baths were fitted without placing the anti-slip section under the shower end, but dismissed claims that this meant they were installed incorrectly.

Robert Bristow, 20, of Tremorfa, said he hit his nose on his bathroom wall after slipping in the tub about two weeks ago.

He said: "I was getting out of the shower and I slipped and smashed my nose on the wall. I had an instant black eye."

Mr Bristow said his girlfriend's two-year-old son, Tyler Chambers, had also fallen over in the bath.

He said: "It's a health-and-safety hazard."

The baths have been fitted on behalf of Cardiff council as part of a pounds 76.5m redevelopment scheme across its housing stock of more than 13,000 properties.

Improvements have been made - including installing modern kitchens and bathrooms - to meet the Welsh Government's Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS).

Manufacturers Twyford Baths told the Echo the anti-slip surface was "always placed at the waste end of the bath, or where your feet are during bathing" under "standard industry practice".

A spokeswoman said: "Should a shower be fitted at the waste end of this bath, it will also act as an anti-slip aid during showering."

Cardiff council was unable to clarify how many of their homes have been fitted without placing the anti-slip section under the shower. Dad-of-two Liam Morris, who lives in a council home in Ely, said: "It's like an ice rink.

"Something has to be done because it's like a death trap. The least that they could do is supply the affected homes with mats until they sort it."

A Cardiff council spokeswoman said: "Where we have fitted an over-bath shower, we have, in the majority of cases, fitted these over the slip resistant area.

"There are instances where the design layout of bathrooms and subsequent waste extraction have made this difficult and showers have been fitted at the opposite end to the anti-slip area.

"We do not disagree with the manufacturer's observation that 'usually' the baths are fitted with the anti-slip end under the shower but we would stress that where this is not the case, then this does not mean that the baths have been fitted incorrectly."

A Twyford Bathrooms spokeswoman said: "We take all safety issues very seriously and ensure all of our products meet the very highest standards.

"Unfortunately, Twyford Bathrooms has no control over the final installation of products."

CAPTION(S):

* Robert Bristow, of Tremorfa, slipped getting out his bath after council contractors fitted the bath the wrong way around. He fears the same may happen to young Tyler PICTURE: Matthew Horwood [umlaut]
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 8, 2012
Words:511
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