Dangers of non registered gas work.

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This is from Plumbzine:-

Gas fitter fined £500 for being unregistered

A gas installer whose illegal gas fitting work led to an elderly Edgware couple being poisoned by carbon monoxide (CO) in their home, has been fined £500.

The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Dermot Healy, trading as D Healy Plumbing and Heating, of Hertfordshire, for not being registered while carrying out gas work and for not holding competence certificates, needed for certain types of gas work.

Mr Healy pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 at two separate addresses. He was also prosecuted under Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 at the City of London Magistrates' Court.

The court heard that on November 27, 2007, an elderly couple were at home in Edgware, Harrow when the wife, feeling lightheaded, lasped into unconsciousness on the sofa. Her husband also suffered dizziness and nausea before partially collapsing.

The couple managed to alert a relative who called an ambulance, which took them to Barnet General Hospital where they were treated for CO poisoning.

Their home had a gas-fired Lennox warm-air unit, which had been in operation since 1961, despite it being reportedly condemed by gas engineers 12-14 years before the incident, but without the gas supply to the house being shut off.

Mr Healy was asked to re-commission the unit and undertake annual service checks. The door to the boiler cupboard was replaced by contractors, five years before the incident, and did not have any air-vents. Shortly afterwards Mr Healy installed a plastic vent cover.

Fourteen days prior to the incident, on November 6, 2007, Mr Healy serviced the unit and no recommendations were made.

Following the incident, a British Gas investigation showed that the air unit cupboard had insufficient ventilation, and the flue was also of an insufficient length with two 90º bends, restricting the escape of exhaust gases to the outside. Negative pressure inside the cupboard resulted in gases being drawn down into ducts in the unit.

HSE inquires found that Mr Healy serviced the boiler of another relative of the elderly couple in Harrow. This boiler was installed in 2002 and no difficulties were experienced after Mr Healy had serviced it in June 2006. On this occasion, Mr Healy serviced the boiler while not being CORGI registered.

Further enquiries found that Mr Healy had held a CORGI registration from February 2001, but did not renew it when it expired in March 2005. Mr Healy had never received refresher training nor held the required competence certificate to carry out work on these units. By working without the necessary registration, safety checks and documentation, he clearly exposed clients to a serious health and safety risk.

HSE inspector, Charles Linfoot, said: "The couple in this instance were lucky, but the outcome could so easily have been a tragic one.

"Mr Healy was paid by his clients to carry out an annual servicing of an old, deteriorating boiler only 14 days before they were taken to hospital with acute carbon monoxide poisoning.

"This work was fairly minimal, and was done on an informal basis. However, he acted illegally in that he was an un-registered gas engineer and carrying out work he was not qualified to do."
 
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well that fine will definately make others think twice :rolleyes:

fed up of reading all these pitiful penalties handed out to illegal workers. The gas rag wheels them all out like some kind of triumph when it reality the costs for working illegally are minimal. It doesn't even cover what it costs to actually be registered. F*cking disgrace.
 
had two cookers recently both same fault missing fibre washer both most have been leaking gas from day one
 
There was also a £1500 for costs making the total to pay £2000.

But whats worse is that this fellow used to be CORGI registered and in spite of having been trained and assessed, still did such dangerous work.

This happened just two years after his five year resistration had expired. Assuming he worked correctly for those five years and immediately forgot for the next two years seems unlikely.

It seems that he was incompetent all the time and its only by chance that he was discovered after he let the registration lapse.

Another problem is that he probably advertised in the local paper or phone book and can be listed as "plumbing and heating" without being gas registered.

Tony
 
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Just because your not registered doesn't mean you can't use the word heating.
Adding more radiators doesn't require registration but it's heating work.

I agree with micky,the fines are too small.the guy had been registered and knew the rules,they should have thrown the book at him.
 
[they should have thrown the book at him.[/quote]


Looks like they had a bloody good go at him to me!
These warm air units have always been deadly and he must have known this!
What was he playing at re-connecting it?
Would be interesting to get the guy in question take on it.
 
Another problem is that he probably advertised in the local paper or phone book and can be listed as "plumbing and heating" without being gas registered.

Tony

Im confused - why would he not be able to use the word "heating" unless he was gas registered?


Surely he can install, remove and alter existing radiators, change central heating pumps, replace and service 2 or 3 port valves, replace cylinders which contain the central heating coil, install underfloor heating, extend flow and return pipework etc etc the list goes on. All of these are purely "heating" items - are you suggesting that only someone GS registered should be able to undertake them?

This appears to be a slightly narrow-minded opinion if you don't mind me saying so. Sorry Tony - i usually agree with everything you say - but got to say I have a different opinion on this one.

Re. the fines, I agree completely - more so on the basis he was previously registered, he should have known better and I would imagine the state of his previous "registered" work left a lot to be desired! The fines will have to be more however for them to have an impact. Thats about the cost of an install - worth the risk in his book i guess! Shame he couldn't have more of a thought for his customers, rather than just the pound signs in his eyes!
 
I think you may have misunderstood what I said. Not "Pete the Plumber" are you?

Its perfectly possible to advertise "Plumbing and heating" without needing to be gas registered.

Then the unsuspecting public will assume that because he advertises in the paper that he is genuine and able to so all heating work including gas boilers.

He can then do any work the customer asks for even though he is not registered. But because of the advert the customer thinks all is well !

Tony
 
Shame he couldn't have more of a thought for his customers, rather than just the pound signs in his eyes![/quote]



I can't possibly see how you can make that assumption.
He could have been working really cheaply and thought was saving the customer cash.
Not that I'm defending the guy understand - but reading between the lines there's more to this than meets the eye.
 

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