A man has been jailed for carrying out unsafe gas installations, risking the lives of a Norfolk homeowner and neighbours.
Chris Johnson from Kings Lynn in Norfolk pleaded guilty to carrying out the work despite lacking the credentials to do so.
A judge at Norwich Crown Court has sentenced Mr Johnson to 14 months in prison.
Risk to life
Mr Johnson had been contracted by a homeowner to carry out the installation of gas appliances at the property in Bacton, Norfolk, under the assumption he was Gas Safe registered.
A gas cooker, hob and fire, as well as connecting pipework, were installed by Mr Johnson during the summer of 2016.
The householder suffered several gas leaks, prompting them to contact the Gas Safe Register (GSR) who came to inspect the work.
The inspectors classified the installations as “at risk” and “immediately dangerous”.
A joint investigation by GSR and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), determined that Mr Johnson was not registered to carry out the work and was not competent in this field of expertise.
He has also been found to have issued invoices with a falsified Gas Safe registration number.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ivan Brooke said: “This work was dangerous and placed the householder and other contractors at risk from fire, explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
In 2012 and 2013, Mr Johnson had been prosecuted for offences relating to unsafe gas work.
Christopher David Johnson of Kings Lynn, Norfolk pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3 (1) and 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Mr Brooke added: “Mr Johnson should have considered that being Gas Safe Registered is not an option when carrying out gas work; it is mandatory. He knew he was not qualified and should have declined this project.”
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, says homeowners should ask to see a Gas Safe ID card when having installations and repairs completed on gas appliances.
He said: “We always encourage the public to ask for and check the card and if they have any concerns about the safety of work carried out in their home, to speak to us.
“Every year we investigate thousands of reports of illegal gas work. Call us on 0800 408 5500 or visit our website at www.gassaferegister.co.uk link to external website.”
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: November 15, 2017
Author: Jackie Kingsley