A self-employed heating installer, who risked causing personal injury to his customers, has pleaded guilty to illegally carrying out sub-standard gas work at two homes in Norfolk.
Ryan Neale from King’s Lynn, trading as R. Neale Plumbing and Heating, agreed to install gas appliances and associated gas pipework at the properties despite not being Gas Safe registered.
Anyone undertaking gas work must be recognised by Gas Safe, but it was revealed that he had let his registration lapse.
Mr Neale fitted a gas boiler at a home in Cresswell Street, King’s Lynn, on 25 May 2012, and a gas fire at another home in Brenda Collison Close, Dersingham on 28 May 2012.
Gas Safe inspected the gas boiler two weeks later and found it to be immediately dangerous, while it also inspected the gas fire in December the same year and judged it to have been left at risk.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Neale for breaching gas safety legislation, claiming it was only a matter of luck that the householders at these two properties were not affected, despite being put at risk. Both installations could have quite easily led to personal injury claims.
Mr Neale, of Blenheim Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 for his work at each property – amounting to four charges in total.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
“Every year, people die of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of gas appliances and flues being badly fitted or poorly serviced,” said HSE inspector Paul Unwin.
“This case highlights the need for householders to exercise caution when they select people to work in their home. They should always check the person they commission is registered with Gas Safe and competent to carry out the work, and obtain references for similar works done.”
Householders should always ask to see the ID card of Gas Safe engineers and check they are qualified to do the job.
Date Published: August 10, 2013
Author: David Brown