Two tradesmen have been fined after the lives of homeowners ‘were put at risk’ from an illegally installed boiler.
Anthony Shaw, 47, of Oakfield Road, Aylesbury, who trades as Quality Building Services, Aylesbury, was hired to oversee the extension of a home in October 2012.
Part of the work included moving a boiler from an airing cupboard to the new extension and Shaw brought in Darren Bridgen, 33, of Hawthorne Close, Aylesbury, but he failed to check he was Gas Safe registered.
When an engineer later inspected the boiler he condemned it as ‘immediately dangerous’ and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation.
It established that Brigden had not been a member of the Gas Safety Register when the work was undertaken. In addition Shaw had failed to fulfil his duty to ensure the work had been undertaken by a registered engineer.
Shaw was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £550 in costs as well as a £120 victim surcharge, after pleading guilty to a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Brigden was fined £1,300 and ordered to pay £550 in costs as well as a £120 victim surcharge, after pleading guilty to a breach of the same regulations.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “Businesses should make reasonable efforts to obtain evidence that people they intend to use to carry out gas work, either under contract or on their own behalf, is a member, or is employed by a member, of Gas Safe Register. Mr Shaw neglected to do this.
“Mr Bridgen was perfectly aware that he was not Gas Safe registered, even though he had been so before. It is extremely important that gas work is only undertaken by a person who has up to date competencies and holds current registration.
“If gas appliances, such as boilers, are not properly installed there is a risk of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
If gas appliances, such as boilers, are not properly installed there is a risk of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoningHSE inspector Stephen Faulkner
Russell Krämer, chief executive for Gas Safe Register, said: “Illegal gas work is dangerous and can put lives and property at risk.
“It’s vital that you employ a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out any gas work. Every registered gas engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card.
“Always ask to see the card and check their unique licence number with Gas Safe on the website www.GasSafeRegsiter.co.uk or call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.”