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Illegal gas fitter from Poole left boilers in a dangerous state

Date:
3 April 2014

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Bournemouth Magistrates heard today (5 March) that Mr Yeatman’s substandard work in Poole created a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and of potential fire and explosion within the property.

The court was told Mr Yeatman’s work on the Poole property was investigated by a council building inspector. Although Mr Yeatman’s company, COB Plumbing, was identified as the installer, another registered gas engineer’s name had been put on the official documentation.

An Investigations Officer from Gas Safe Register discovered seven defects with Mr Yeatman’s work, two of which were declared “At Risk” of causing death or injury.

HSE was informed and found that neither Mr Yeatman nor COB Plumbing were on the Gas Safe Register, meaning they could not legally carry out gas work.

In 2013, the householder in Broadstone discovered the boiler fitted by Mr Yeatman was leaking. A registered gas engineer checked the work and found several defects.

An investigation by HSE found Mr Yeatman had filled in the official documentation with another company’s details. That company was registered with Gas Safe.

Mr Yeatman, of Gort Road, Poole, pleaded guilty to five breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

COB Plumbing Ltd, of High Street, Poole, pleaded guilty to four breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £8,056 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Mehtaab Hamid, said:

“Mr Yeatman’s actions were quite deliberate. He was not registered with Gas Safe and he was well aware that this was a prerequisite of being able to undertake gas work legally.

“Clearly he should not have been carrying out the work on gas appliances because he is not qualified or competent to do so. Nonetheless, he chose to put residents at risk by carrying out sub-standard work at their properties.”

Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“It’s vital that people only ever use registered gas engineers to fit or fix gas appliances. 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 on gas safety can be found on the HSE website at http://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(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 …self-employed person..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.  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 under paragraph (3) above.”

5.  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.”

6.  Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: Where an employer or a self-employed person requires any work in relation to a gas fitting to be carried out at any place of work under his control or where an employer or self-employed person has control to any extent of work in relation to a gas fitting, he shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the person undertaking that work is, or is employed by, a member of a class of persons approved by the Health and Safety Executive under regulation 3(3) above.”

7.  HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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