A Radstock man has been prosecuted for illegal gas work at properties in Shepton Mallet, Midsomer Norton and Paulton.
John Chalmers worked on boilers at three houses in the towns and village between April and October 2011 without being registered with Gas Safe, as the law requires.
He appeared at Bath Magistrates’ Court yesterday (15 May) after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated his criminal activity.
Magistrates were told that Mr Chalmers wasn’t legally competent to undertake any gas work because he was unregistered and did not hold any current qualifications.
Furthermore, HSE established that the work he had done at all three properties did not confirm to current standards for gas appliances.
The court also heard that John Chalmers had already been convicted for earlier gas offences and that in 2008 he signed an undertaking not to carry out any gas work unless he had obtained the appropriate Gas Safe registration status.
John Duncan Chalmers, of Jubilee Road, Radstock, pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 for each of the three boiler connections.
He was sentenced to undertake 240 hours of unpaid community work, to be carried out over a 12 month period, and was also ordered to pay £10,000 in costs. In addition, the court told him to pay the owner of the property in Shepton Mallett some £713 in compensation.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Mehtaab Hamid said:
“John Chalmers is a serial offender who has already been prosecuted for doing gas work without being registered or competent do so. He knows what the law requires, but he again chose to work outside it.
“The Gas Safe Register exists to protect the public from fitters like him who are prepared to work illegally and carry out potentially dangerous gas work that could put lives at risk.
“Anyone who undertakes gas work must be on the Gas Safe Register and be competent to carry out such work. Cases like this highlights the need for householders to ask for and check the credentials of anyone working at their property, especially where gas is involved.”
Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, added:
“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.”
Notes to editors
1. The 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 (1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel unless he is competent to do so.”
3. 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.”
4. For further HSE news releases visit press.hse.gov.uk