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Plumber in court following illegal gas work

Date:
8 April 2014

A plumber has been told to do 180 hours unpaid community service for illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Milton Keynes.

Darren Queeley, from Hampton, Middlesex agreed to install a new gas boiler and pipework at a vacant rental property on Arncliffe, Milton Keynes on 2 January 2013, despite not being registered with Gas Safe.

He completed the work, turned on the gas supply on and left the boiler running, however he did not leave any paperwork regarding registration with Gas Safe Register – as the law requires.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard today (8 April) that Mr Queeley then informed the householder that he would need to contact another gas fitter to check the boiler, falsely claiming he was Gas Safe registered only for work in London, and not the Milton Keynes area.

A qualified gas fitter subsequently inspected the work. He discovered that an unsafe connection had left the flue in an unsuitable condition, and identified the boiler as ‘immediately dangerous’. The fitter turned the gas supply off and informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Darren Queeley, of Starling Walk, Hampton was given 180 hours of unpaid community service work over a period of 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £2,055 after pleading guilty to four breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE Inspector Robert Meardon said:

“Darren Queeley has shown a flagrant disregard for the law. He carried out gas work whilst unregistered, leaving a domestic boiler in a dangerous condition and likely to leak gas.

“People can and do die as a result of gas leaks. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.

“Unless you are on the Register, you should not undertake this work. If you are a landlord or home owner you need to make sure you only use someone who is on the register.

“HSE will not hesitate to take action in cases of unsafe and unregistered gas work, and will always hold offenders to account.”

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

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(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.”

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.”

Regulation 26(5)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person carrying out the installation of a gas appliance shall leave it connected to the gas supply unless the appliance can be used safely.”

Regulation 27(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person shall install a gas appliance to any flue unless the flue is suitable and in a proper condition for the safe operation of the appliance.”

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