Wednesday 9 February 2011
Plumber Jailed For Illegal Gas Work
The Health & Safety Executive has successfully prosecuted four plumbers in recent weeks that have been carrying out illegal gas work.
Andrew John Carslake was jailed at Chelmsford Court after he admitted breaching health and safety laws. He recieved six-month prison sentences for two separate offences relating to gas safety offences.
Andrew Carslake was originally given a Health and Safety Executive probation notice in 2008 after a complaint about gas work that he had undertaken, he was then exposed as not being GasSafe registered. By Law, All gas engineers must be on the GasSafe Register.
However, he ignored the prohibition order and continued to carry out further illegal gas work, until he was caught on camera by the BBC's Rogue Traders programme in July 2009. One HSE inspector said " It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on any gas appliances. When unregistered tradesmen try and to bypass the law in this manner, they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosectution and a large fine, they are also endangering the lives of their customers."
"Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentiall very, very dangerous. The Health & Safety Executive will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law."
"There is no doubt that Watchdog's Rogue Traders has struck a blow for gas safety with their undercover report. They played a big part in helping us get this case to court and securing justice."
"We applaud their efforts to expose illegal gas work and help the public understand the importance of getting qualified and registered professionals to do their gas work."
In another separate case, a pair of plumbers from Hertfordshire have also been sentenced for illegally working on domestic gas appliances.
Paul Fromet from Cheshunt and Michael Wright of Waltham Cross fitted a boiler in a house in Chevington, Suffolk. After an investigation was carried out by the HSE, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court heard that neither plumber was on the Gas Safe Register.
They had installed the boiler, but it had not been adjusted to run on the LPG gas supply in the house. As a result the boiler was producing more than 200 times the recommended level of Carbon Monoxide.
Both men admitted breaching Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. They recieved a two-year conditional discharge and were ordered to pay court costs of £250 each.
Finally, Enfield-based Tony MacTaggart, who also trades as TJM Heating & Plumbing was found to have lied to homeowners about being on the Gas Safe register.
He had installed a boiler in a house in Cheshunt, but after the owners complained to Gas Safe, inspectors discovered that the boiler was in a very dangerous condition.
MacTaggart had been claiming to be Gas Safe Registered, carried out out and then tricked Registered Engineers into signing off his work by asking them to carry out annual gas safety inspections.
Tony MacTaggart was fined £2,500, ordered to pay full costs of £902 and a victim surcharge of £15.