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Former British Gas employee fined for illegal gas work

Date:
9 February 2018

A former employee of British Gas has been sentenced today after conducting gas work he was not registered or competent to do and leaving it in a dangerous condition.

Truro Crown Court heard how Mark Cock undertook the installation of a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) boiler at a property in Cambourne in February 2017.

A properly registered gas engineer later inspected the work and found it to be of an extremely poor standard and classed it as ‘immediately dangerous’.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Cock was employed by British Gas at the time but that he was only employed and trained to undertake a very limited range of work on gas meters. Mr Cock carried out the illegal gas work out of his normal working hours but used his British Gas van and wore his British Gas uniform giving the homeowner the impression that he was doing the work on behalf of British Gas, without the company’s knowledge.

Mark Cock of Penware Parc, Cambourne, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations  3(1), 3(3), 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

For a breach of Regulation 26(1), relating to dangerous gas work, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years;

  • For a breach of Regulation 3(7), relating to falsely pretending to being a member of Gas Safe Register, he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years;
  • For a breach of Regulation 3(3), relating to unregistered gas work, he was sentenced to 8 months, suspended for two years;
  • For breach of Regulation 3(1), relating to incompetent gas work, he was sentenced to 8 months, suspended for two years.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Cock undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do and was of such a poor standard that it could have killed the homeowners and neighbours of the property.

“All gas work must be done by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Further information about gas safety can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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