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Essex plumber in court after illegal gas work

Date:
1 December 2014

A plumber from Tolleshunt Major has been sentenced to 140 hours community service after he put the lives of prospective home-owners in danger following illegal gas work on appliances at a home Tiptree.

Ryan Ellingford, 30, was prosecuted after an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found he had also illegally issued a landlord gas safety certificate for the work with a false registration number.

Southend Magistrates’ Court heard today (28 Nov) that Mr Ellingford, trading as R J Plumbing & Heating, was contracted to check gas appliances on a rental property on Globe Walk immediately prior to it being sold.

He undertook the work despite not being registered with the Gas Safe Register, as the law requires, and issued landlord’s gas safety certificates for a boiler, pipework and a cooker at the premises; indicating that the boiler had been serviced.

However, a subsequent inspection of Mr Ellingford’s work by Gas Safe identified the boiler as ‘Immediately Dangerous’. Mr Ellingford was served with a notification of contravention and a prohibition notice preventing him from undertaking further gas related work whilst unregistered.

Ryan Ellingford, of Theedoms, Grove Farm Road, Tolleshunt Major, Essex, was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £339 after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE Inspector Corrine Godfrey said:

“People can die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, and, by his negligence, Ryan Ellingford could have caused the illness or death of the prospective residents and neighbours of this property.

“The purpose of the Gas Safe Register is to protect the public from gas work being carried out by people who have not been trained and are not competent. Mr Ellingford was not registered and had not been assessed as competent by Gas Safe Register. His actions endangered householders and their neighbours and put them at serious risk of injury and even potentially death.”

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 www.hse.gov.uk/gas

Notes to Editors:

  1. 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
  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: “Without prejudice to the generality of paragraphs (1) and (2) above and subject to paragraph (4) below, 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. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press

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