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Self-employed gardener guilty of gas safety failings

13 May 2015

A self-employed gardener has been prosecuted for carrying out illegal gas work that could have potentially endangered lives.

Rod Galbraith was undertaking groundworks at a residential property in Cornwall using a mini digger. He severed a live gas pipe and then capped the pipe with a plastic water bottle.

Galbraith, of Farmoor House, Gweek, Helston who was not Gas Safe registered at the time of the offence on 15 November 2014, left site at Fore Street, Praze, without informing either the emergency services or the gas supply network of his error.

He appeared at Truro Magistrates’ Court and was fined £800 with costs of £200 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Inspector Simon Jones, of the Health and Safety Executive, that brought the prosecution, said: ‘It is extremely fortunate this case didn’t result in a major gas leak with the potential for a gas explosion and subsequent fire in this residential area.  If a worker damages a gas pipe they should immediately telephone the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 or telephone the emergency services so that the situation can be made safe by those who can do the job properly.

“Workers should not attempt to repair a damaged gas pipe themselves and in this case using a plastic water bottle tied to the live open gas pipe and then leaving site is obviously totally inappropriate and shows a complete disregard for public safety.”

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.
  2. Regulation 3 (3) Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 in that no self-employed person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or service pipework, unless the self-employed person is a member of a class of persons approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive.
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at

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