Gas safe registered engineers

The latest HSE bulletin lists three cases where illegal gas work has been carried out.

1. A Lincolnshire plumber has been prosecuted for carrying out illegal gas work after a couple suffered severe burns in a major explosion at their home.

Daniel George Hickling, trading as DGH Plumbing and Heating, was hired by the couple to reduce the height of two redundant LPG gas pipes in an old kitchen which was being converted into a living room at their Nettleton home.

After he left the property on 21 July 2011 the couple, who have asked not to be named, realised the gas supply hadn’t been switched back on so the householder went to the LPG tank in the garden and reset the valve to restore the supply. A short while later the couple smelled gas and went to investigate. When the householder was trying to find the source of the leak it ignited.

2. A Staffordshire kitchen fitter has been has been fined after he carried out illegal gas work and put families’ lives at risk.

Stewart Pitt, 41, of Wombourne, Wolverhampton, was fitting kitchens for a local firm as a self-employed trader. Between August 2011 and the end of September 2011 he put three households at risk by undertaking defective gas work.

The incidents were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Mr Pitt at Stafford Magistrates’ Court today (22 May).

The court was told that between 22 and 25 August 2011, Mr Pitt fitted a kitchen in a home in Wombourne. In doing so, he fitted wooden kitchen units around a boiler which created a risk when the boiler caused the units to heat up to dangerous levels. At the same property, he also cut gas pipes when he wasn’t registered to do so. The installation was classified as ‘at risk’ when later examined by Gas Safe Register

3. A Bridgwater man has been prosecuted for illegal and unsafe gas work while falsely claiming to be on the Gas Safe Register.

Robert Squire, from Puriton, appeared before Taunton Magistrates’ Court on 1 May and pleaded guilty to three offences in relation to the installation of a gas boiler at an address on St Michael’s Road, Burnham in October 2010. He appeared in court again today (24 May) for sentencing. On completion of the work, Squire provided the householder with an invoice and a boiler commissioning certificate which included a Gas Safe registration number.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which brought the prosecution, established that Squire claimed to be qualified to carry out work on gas appliances, but wasn’t registered with Gas Safe – a legal requirement for anyone undertaking such work.

For your own safety, only use gas safe registered heating engineers. Your life is at risk.

“You can find an engineer, or check the qualifications of one by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk or calling 0800 408 5500.”