Illegal gas work by brothers from Devon could have easily caused a gas explosion, health and safety inspectors have said.
Lee Butterworth, 43, who trades as English Riviera Building Company Ltd, contracted his brother Scott Butterworth, 41, to carry out extensive work at a house in Plymouth, despite the latter not being a member of Gas Safe Register.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claims the poor standard of work could have had tragic consequences for the homeowners.
Lee Butterworth was carrying out works on the property which included installing a new gas boiler. He arranged for his brother, Scott Butterworth, to install the gas boiler and gas pipework, Torquay Magistrates’ Court heard.
Another gas engineer, who was a member of the register, was employed by the homeowner to fit a gas cooker shortly afterwards. He found a gas leak on the gas pipework that Scott Butterworth had installed.
The engineer classed what he found as ‘Immediately Dangerous’ as there was a real risk of a gas explosion.
Lee Butterworth pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, while Scott Butterworth admitted two breaches of the same regulations.
Each of them was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment, which was suspended for two years for each offence, plus ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid community work and pay costs of £496.60.
HSE Inspector, Simon Jones says it is extremely fortunate there was not a gas explosion as a result of Scott Butterworth’s work.
He adds Lee Butterworth should have ensured anyone undertaking gas work on his job was properly registered with Gas Safe Register.
A simple check on the Gas Safe Register website would have alerted him to the fact that his brother was not registered to do gas work.
His failure and the poor work carried out by his brother could have caused serious injury
or even death.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 26, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown