Installer Online recently published an article entitled: “Illegal Gas Fitter Puts Families At Risk”
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Online Installer write –
“Lee Curnow – Varcurn Marble Ltd Company Director – contracted Mark Lawson, an unregistered gas fitter, to install gas fires at six homes between January 2012 and October 2013.
The incidents were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted the pair at Bodmin Magistrates.
HSE launched an investigation after a Gas Safe registered engineer found significant failings in the work carried out by Mr Lawson, following reports of fumes from a gas fire at one of the properties.
The court heard that Mr Curnow did not make suitable checks to see if Mr Lawson was on the Gas Safe Register.
Of six gas fires installed by Mr Lawson, four were classed as immediately dangerous, meaning if operated or left connected to a gas supply, there would be immediate danger to life or property. One was classed “at risk” with one or more faults that could constitute a danger to life or property, and the sixth had a previously reported gas leak following work by Mark Lawson, which would be classed as ‘immediately dangerous’.
On at least two occasions, Mr Lawson falsely claimed to be on the Gas Safe Register by using the registration name and number of a properly registered gas engineer on the commissioning documents for fires he installed.
He pleaded guilty to three breaches of gas safety regulations and was fined a total of £10,666 and ordered to pay £274 in costs.
Lee Curnow pleaded guilty to a single breach of gas safety regulations and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £274 in costs.
HSE Inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said:
“Mr Lawson put lives at risk by deliberately claiming to be a Gas Safe registered engineer and then carrying out substandard work which was then classed by a qualified engineer as immediately dangerous.
“Only qualified and registered engineers are allowed to carry out gas work and by his illegal actions, Mr Lawson misled customers into believing he could do the work.
“Mr Curnow also risked the lives of his customers by failing to check if Mr Lawson was on the Gas Safe Register by asking to see his register membership card, checking the installer page on the register website or calling GSR.”
Russell Krämer, chief executive for Gas Safe Register, said:
“It is a legal requirement for all engineers working on gas to be registered. Badly fitted and poorly maintained gas appliances cause gas leaks, explosions and fires. To avoid the risks of dangerous and illegal gas work, people should check that anyone who works on their gas appliances is Gas Safe registered.”
Further information about gas safety can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/ If you suspect an illegal gas fitter report it to Gas Safe Register on free phone 0800 408 5500.”
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