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Illegal Honiton gas fitter put lives at risk through dangerous work

Date:
30 January 2015

An unregistered gas fitter has been fined for illegally servicing a boiler at a Honiton home that was later classed as “immediately dangerous”.

David Dawes serviced the boiler at a property in Chestnut Way on a number of occasions after it was fitted in 2005, However, the last service he carried out, in November 2013, happened seven months after his registration with Gas Safe had lapsed, meaning he wasn’t permitted  to carry out gas work.

He was prosecuted today (27 Jan) after his handiwork was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Dawes lapsed registration came to light when the homeowner asked a properly registered gas engineer to service the boiler. He found a number of defects with the boiler flue and classed it as “immediately dangerous”, meaning it posed a serious risk to life or property.

Mr Dawes, of Pugh Farm, Monkton, near Honiton, pleaded guilty to three breaches of gas safety regulations and was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £418 in costs.

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

“Only engineers registered with Gas Safe can legally carry out gas work and it is fortunate no-one was harmed as a result of Mr Dawes illegal and dangerous servicing.

“His poor work servicing the boiler put his customers’ lives at risk. If gas appliances, such as ovens, cookers and boilers, are not properly installed there is a risk of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Russell Kramer, of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Illegal gas work is dangerous and can put lives and property at risk. Make sure when you’re getting your gas appliances safety checked every year and that it is a registered engineer doing the work. Every registered gas engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card.”

You can check if an individual is Gas Safe registered by asking to see their Gas Safe ID card, calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk.”

Further information about 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(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 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(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.”
  4. Regulation 26(9)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “Where a person performs work on a gas appliance he shall immediately thereafter examine the effectiveness of any flue; the supply of combustion air; its operating pressure or heat input or, where necessary, both; its operation so as to ensure its safe functioning, and forthwith take all reasonable practicable steps to notify any defect to the responsible person and, where different, the owner of the premises in which the appliance is situated or, where neither is reasonably practicable, in the case of an appliance supplied with liquefied petroleum gas, the supplier of gas to the appliance, or, in any other case, the transporter.”
  5. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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