Householders are being urged to check that gas engineers working on their appliances are properly registered and have a valid ID card.
The calls come after two men were prosecuted for illegally organising and carrying out the installation of a gas boiler.
Anthony Thomas Hylins, of Railway Close, Burwell, Cambridgeshire, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £645.90 and a victim surcharge of £120 after admitting he breached the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations.
Mark Smith, of Exeter Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, also pleaded guilty to breaching the regulations. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and costs of £645.90.
Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard the work was carried out as part of a construction job in Exning, Suffolk, in early 2014. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Mr Hylins had been contracted by the property’s owners to build an extension.
He had organised the boiler work, sub-contracting it to Mr Smith despite knowing he wasn’t registered with Gas Safe.
Gas leak found
The court heard Mr Hylins had thought Mr Smith would be accompanied by a registered engineer who would sign off and oversee the installation despite Gas Safe prohibiting the practice.
Magistrates were told that a Gas Safe inspection had discovered serious safety flaws on the boiler – a significant gas leak, an incorrectly sealed flue and a wrongly fitted cover. The boiler was subsequently made safe by a registered engineer.
After the case Gas Safe Register’s chief executive, Russell Kramer, said bona fide engineers carry Gas Safe ID cards, showing who they are and which appliances they’re qualified to work on.
He said people should check cards and contact Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 if they’re concerned.
HSE Inspector Ivan Brooke said householders should scrutinise ID cards and check the online Gas Safe Register before permitting engineers to start work.
He said work done by incompetent engineers can raise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and explosions.
He said the HSE would continue to pursue offenders by investigating reports of unregistered or unsafe gas work.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 20, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown