Kitchen fitter prosecuted for endangering homeowners’ lives

A Tyneside has been sentenced for putting the lives of home owners at a major risk after manipulating a local fitting company by claiming he was gas safe registered.

A self employed kitchen fitter was contracted by the company to carry out work at three different properties in Newcastle where kitchens were being refurbished.

The jobs involved installing gas appliances which included gas hobs and in one case a whole central heating boiler.

The kitchen fitting company later contacted Gas Safe to check the work and a Gas Safe regional investigations officer switched off the boiler when it was found to have faults that could have endangered life or property if operated.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and the kitchen fitter turned gas fitter was today (4 March) prosecuted at Court for multiple gas safety breaches.

The court was told that it is a legal requirement that any work carried out on gas appliances must only be done by a Gas Safe engineer. When asked by the kitchen company, the worker had fraudulently claimed he was Gas Safe registered. However, The fitter had never been Gas Safe registered and was not sufficiently competent to carry out the work.

The person who fitted all of these was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs after pleading guilty to six breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 – three each of Regulation 3(3) and Regulation 3(7).

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Jonathan Wills said:

“He displayed a deliberate and reckless approach to the law by putting the owners of these three properties at risk with a view to profiting financially.

“Having deceived those involved into thinking he was Gas Safe registered he carried out work which in one instance could have resulted in someone being seriously injured or even killed.

“This case should act as a reminder that HSE will prosecute those who flout the law in such a way, putting the lives of members of the public in danger.”

Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and 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 …self-employed person.. 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.”

Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person shall falsely pretend to be a member of a class of persons required to be approved under paragraph (3) above.”

Source: HSE