A Suffolk builder has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 150 hours of community work for carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Ipswich.
Anthony Kerry, 55, from Ipswich, was hired to extend a kitchen at a house on Highfield Road in April 2013. While he was working there, he agreed to install new kitchen appliances including a gas hob even though he was not registered with Gas Safe Register – as the law requires – or competent to do so.
Ipswich Magistrates’ Court heard today (8 July) that it was only when the homeowner challenged Mr Kerry on a number of issues with the work that it came to light that he was not Gas Safe Registered.
When a Gas Safe investigations officer inspected the work it was found that a nut on a gas valve had only been made finger-tight, resulting in a significant gas leak – the appliance was immediately made safe. The matter was passed to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Mr Kerry for safety failings.
Anthony Kerry, of Maude Street, Ipswich, was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of community work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £922 after pleading guilty to one breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act and one breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
After the case, HSE Inspector Ivan Brooke said:
“Anthony Kerry should have known better than to accept a job he was not qualified, competent, or legally allowed to do.
“People can die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas explosions. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.”
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, added:
“Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card, which shows who they are and the type of gas appliances they are qualified to work on.
“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”
Further information about gas safety can be found online at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/index.htm
Notes to Editors
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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
- Regulation 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
- 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.”
- HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk