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Unregistered fitter fined for faulty flue

Date:
5 June 2014

An unregistered gas fitter has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 180 hours of community work after carrying out illegal and dangerous work at two homes in Essex.

Anthony Hoskins, 49, from Kelvedon Hatch, Essex, fitted gas boilers at homes in Brentwood and Ingatestone in 2012 and 2013 despite not being a member of the Gas Safe Register, as UK law requires.

His failings came to light after the Ingatestone householder complained to Gas Safe Register because Mr Hoskins had left the job unfished. When Gas Safe Register investigated, they met the Brentwood householder who had also hired Mr Hoskins to install his boiler.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard today (5 June) that one of the two boilers Mr Hoskins had installed was deemed to be “At Risk” because the flue had not been correctly sealed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that even a small movement of the flue could have resulted in combustion products leaking from the boiler flue, potentially exposing occupants of the home to carbon monoxide.

The other boiler had not been installed to current standards.

Anthony Hoskins, of Broad Meadows, Kelvedon Hatch, Essex was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 180 hours of community work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,600 after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Vicky Fletcher said:

“Mr Hoskins has shown a clear disregard for the law and put his customers’ lives at risk.

“Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.

“HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way.”

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 http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/index.htm

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(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.”
  3. Regulation 3(2) of the Health and safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
  4. HSE press releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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