Unregistered Wiltshire Gas Fitter Prosecuted

A Westbury man has been prosecuted for illegal and unsafe gas work after falsely claiming to be on the Gas Safe Register. Ken Pirie appeared before North Wiltshire Magistrates yesterday (16 April 2013) in relation to work on a gas boiler at an address in Oldfield Park, Westbury, on 15 March 2012.He claimed to be qualified to carry out work on gas appliances, but a subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which brought the prosecution, established that he wasn’t registered with Gas Safe – a legal requirement for anyone undertaking such work.Magistrates heard that an investigator from Gas Safe Register went to the domestic address on 11 June 2012 following complaints from the householder. They discovered work had been done to the boiler that breached specifications for gas appliances and could be classed as unsafe.

Ken Pirie, of Timor Rd, Westbury, pleaded guilty to three separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 80 hours unpaid community service and was also ordered to pay £450 compensation to the householder and £1,000 towards prosecution costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Andy Shaw said:

“Incorrectly fitted gas appliances can be highly dangerous and can lead to loss of life.

“Those who undertake gas work must be on the Gas Safe Register and be competent to carry out such work.  Anyone who works on gas appliances without being registered is breaking the law.

“Ken Pirie knew this and falsely claimed to be Gas Safe registered to compensate. Yet he clearly wasn’t competent, as his unsafe handiwork testified.

“This case highlights the need for householders to check the credentials of anyone working at their property, especially where gas is involved ”

Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card which shows who they are and the type of work they are qualified to carry out. Customers should ask to see this and check the engineer is qualified to do the job in hand.

“You can also check your engineer by calling us on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk

At Acorn EHS we work with small contractors to ensure they are legally compliant if you run a small enginnering busisness contact us on 03334 560 999 we can help.

Unregistered gas fitter sentenced for false claims and endangering life

An East Devon gas fitter who risked the lives of a young couple through his dangerous work falsely claimed to be on the Gas Safe Register, a court has heard.

Luke Potts, who trades as Devon Plumber, installed a new gas boiler at a home in Chelmsford Road, Exeter, in May 2012 that was classed as “immediately dangerous” when checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

He claimed to be a registered engineer himself, an untruth that came to light after the householders complained about his dangerous work.

Exeter Magistrates’ were told today (10 April) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register found the flue for the boiler had been incorrectly fitted, which could have led to lethal carbon monoxide leaking into the property.

In addition, the gas meter box had been altered by drilling a hole in it to feed in a new gas pipe, which could have allowed gas to leak into the building.

Although Mr Potts was unregistered, having failed to renew his registration in January 2012, he continued to display the Gas Safe Register logo on his website. The householders relied on this when they asked him to fit the boiler, assuming he was fully accredited and qualified.

Luke Potts, of Cornhill, Ottery St Mary, was given a 20 week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 60 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to three separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

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

“Mr Potts’ poor work could have had tragic consequences for the householders, who put their lives in his hands.

“They believed he was a registered engineer and asked him to do the work as a result. If an individual is working on gas appliances and installations is not on the Gas Safe Register they are working illegally.”

Paul Johnston, chief executive for Gas Safe Register said:

“A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by fitters who don’t have the skills or the qualifications to work safely on gas. It’s therefore vital the public always make sure the person working on their gas appliances is on the Gas Safe Register.

“You can check your engineer is legal and safe by asking to see their Gas Safe ID card. You can also check the engineer’s registration number by calling us on 0800 408 5500, or visiting the website www.gassaferegister.co.uk link to external website.”

Further information on gas safety can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/gas.