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Fowey gas fitter carried out dangerous and illegal work

Date:
17 March 2014

An unregistered gas fitter put his customer’s lives at risk by leaving a new boiler in a dangerous condition, a court has heard.

Ben Littleton, 24, from Fowey, was not Gas Safe registered and so not legally able to install the boiler in March last year. He also illegally carried out safety checks for landlords at two properties in the town.

Mr Littleton’s work on the boiler was checked by a registered gas engineer, who classed the boiler as “at risk” and alerted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted him at Truro Magistrates on Friday 14 March.

The court heard that Mr Littleton had installed boilers at two homes, one of which had an incorrectly sealed flue which meant that gases, including carbon monoxide, could have re-entered the property posing a risk to the residents.

HSE’s investigation also found that Mr Littleton had carried out gas safety checks for landlords on two rented properties in Fowey. He faked safety documents by using a Gas Safe Register ID number belonging to a properly-registered company that had previously employed him.

Mr Littleton, of Station Road, Fowey, pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,159 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said:

“The gas work that Ben Littleton carried out posed a real risk to the homeowners from carbon monoxide poisoning as the flue that he installed was not properly sealed.

“Only Gas Safe registered engineers are legally able to work with gas, and Ben Littleton put lives at risk by ignoring the law.

“Members of the public and landlords trusted him when he said he was Gas Safe registered and when he used a false ID number on paperwork to deceive them.”

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 on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/gas.

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(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No self-employed person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting unless a member of a class of person approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive (Gas Safe Registered).”
  3. Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person shall falsely pretend to be a member of a class of persons required to be approved.”
  4. 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.”
  5. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press

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