Prosecution of Gas Engineer shows importance of gas safety rules

Article

12 February, 2010

A man from Manchester has recently been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, by carrying out work to gas appliances when unregistered.

Grimsby Magistrates' Court heard that between January and February 2008, James O'Neill illegally fitted a gas central heating boiler at a property in Cleethorpes when he was not, as then required, CORGI registered. When the work was checked, a number of defects were discovered.

Mr O'Neill pleaded guilty to breaches of the 1998 Regulations and on 10 February 2010 was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Registering with Gas Safe

From April 2009, the Capita Gas Safe Register is the only gas installer registration scheme approved by the HSE under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, thus replacing the previous CORGI registration. All installers (including those used by landlords) wanting to undertake domestic gas work need to be registered with the Gas Safe scheme in order to be able to lawfully carry out any work on both gas fittings and appliances in a property.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

All providers of housing are under a legal duty to arrange maintenance of all gas pipe work, appliances and flues which are used by tenants by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Landlords also must arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. When such a check is carried out, a record of the inspection must be held for two years and a copy must be provided to each tenant within 28 days of the check being completed. A copy must also be issued before a new tenant moves into a property.

The Dangers

Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste which makes identifying its presence very difficult. It can kill people without warning. In order to avoid this happening, it is advised that all residential gas appliances are properly maintained and that an annual safety check is carried out. It may also be beneficial to install carbon monoxide detectors in the property as a precautionary measure.

Summary

This case shows how important it is for landlords and occupants of property to have work carried out on gas appliances by Gas Safe registered engineers.

The HSE has stated that every year around 20-30 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with domestic gas appliances incorrectly installed or maintained. This statistic alone highlights the importance of using registered gas engineers for such work.

For more information and assistance on these issues, please contact the Housing Department at Forbes Solicitors on 01772 220200 or contact Stuart Penswick by email.

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