A man from South Yorkshire has been fined £5,000 after he was found guilty of carrying out illegal gas work at a family home, which could have led to serious injury claims.
Thomas Atkinson, of Radley Avenue in Wickersley, Rotherham, was also ordered to pay £352 in costs after he admitted breaching regulations 3(3), 3(7), 5(3), 7(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Mr Atkinson was found to have:
- pretended to be on the Gas Safe Register when he carried out the work at the family’s home in Herringthorpe
- showed the family a false ID card to avoid suspicion
- provided an invalid gas safety certificate.
He then installed a gas fire which was later found to have seven defects, putting the family with a young boy at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or an explosion.
Gas work was ‘immediately dangerous’
The family soon became suspicions about the certificate and got in contact with Gas Safe Register, which confirmed that it was false and sent a regional team to the family home to investigate.
It was found that two of the seven defects were classed as immediately dangerous and had the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a fire or explosion.
The HSE found a gas leak at the inlet of the gas fire, and gases produced on combustion were escaping from a part of the installation.
This could have caused the family significant injuries, in which case they would have been entitled to make a personal injury claim against Mr Atkinson.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were informed and Mr Atkinson was prosecuted at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court for five offences under the Gas Safety regulations.
The court heard that the gas safety certificate Mr Atkinson produced was in the name of his former employer, under whose name he had been registered with Gas Safe before he was removed in January 2012. He was not registered as a qualified gas engineer in his own name.
Date Published: March 15, 2014
Author: David Brown