Two men have been fined for organising and carrying out illegal gas work as part of a construction job at a property in Suffolk.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Anthony Hylins, of Cambridgeshire, organised the installation of a gas boiler at a property in Exning, Suffolk, between January and May of 2014 after he had been contracted by the owners to build an extension. He sub-contracted the job to Mark Smith of Newmarket, who was not Gas Safe registered.
Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard (12 March) Mr Hylins knew Mark Smith was not Gas Safe registered, but had expected him to attend the site with a registered engineer, who would oversee and sign-off on the work. This is a practice that is expressly prohibited by Gas Safe.
A subsequent inspection by Gas Safe found serious safety flaws with the Mr Smith’s boiler installation. There had been a significant gas leak; the cover of the boiler had been fitted wrongly; and the flue had not been sealed correctly. The appliance was made safe by a registered engineer.
Anthony Thomas Hylins of Railway Close, Burwell, Cambridgeshire, was fined £2000 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £645.90 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation Use) Regulations 1998.
Mark Smith of Exeter Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, was fined £1000, ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge as well as £645.90 in costs after admitting a breach of Section 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation use) Regulations 1998.
After the case, HSE Inspector Ivan Brooke said:
“HSE will not hesitate to investigate cases of unsafe and unregistered gas work and hold offenders to account. Householders should always ask for evidence of Gas Safe registration and/or check the Gas Safe Register online before allowing work on gas appliances. Gas work by people not competent to do so can expose people to risk of fire/explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.”
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”
Notes to Editors
- 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
- Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation use) Regulations 1998 states: “Where an employer or a self-employed person requires any work in relation to a gas fitting to be carried out at any place of work under his control or where an employer or self-employed person has control to any extent of work in relation to a gas fitting, he shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the person undertaking that work is, or is employed by, a member of a class of persons approved by the Health and Safety Executive under regulation 3(3) above.”
- Section 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation 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.”
- Further HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk/