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Illegal gas work left Norfolk homes at risk

Date:
8 August 2013

A self-employed heating installer from King’s Lynn has been fined for illegally carrying out sub-standard gas work at two homes in Norfolk.

King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard today (8 August 2013) that Ryan Neale, trading as R. Neale Plumbing and Heating, installed gas appliances and associated gas pipework at properties in King’s Lynn and Dersingham despite not being Gas Safe registered.

Anyone undertaking gas work must be recognised by Gas Safe, but Mr Neale had let his registration lapse. However, he still agreed to fit a gas boiler at a home in Cresswell Street, King’s Lynn, on 25 May 2012, and a gas fire at another home in Brenda Collison Close, Dersingham on 28 May 2012.

The gas boiler installation was inspected by Gas Safe on 6 June 2012 and found to be immediately dangerous. The gas fire was inspected on 13 December 2012 and found to have been left at risk.

Gas Safe informed the Health and Safety Executive, who prosecuted Mr Neale for breaching gas safety legislation.

Ryan Neale, of Blenheim Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 for his work at each property – four charges in total.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Unwin said:

"Every year, people die of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of gas appliances and flues being badly fitted or poorly serviced. It was only a matter of luck that the householders at these two properties were not affected despite being put at risk.

"This case highlights the need for householders to exercise caution when they select people to work in their home. They should always check the person they commission is registered with Gas Safe and competent to carry out the work, and obtain references for similar works done."

Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

"Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card which shows who they are and the type of work they are qualified to carry out. Customers should ask to see this and check the engineer is qualified to do the job in hand. You can also check your engineer by calling us on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk"

Further information about gas safety can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/gas

Notes to editors

  1. Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: "No employer shall allow any of his employees to carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or service pipework and no self-employed person shall carry out any such work, unless the employer or self-employed person, as the case may be, is a member of a class of persons approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of this paragraph."
  3. Regulation 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: "No person shall install a gas appliance unless it can be used without constituting a danger to any person."
  4. General gas safety advice – HSE runs a free Gas Safety Advice Line offering information on gas safety, freephone 0800 300 363. To find/check a registered engineer – http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ or call 0800 408 5500.

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