A father and son from Crewe have been prosecuted for carrying out illegal gas work.
Peter Cavanagh, 57, and his son Shane, 24, pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety regulations after
installing central heating in a flat in Market Drayton, Shropshire, despite not being Gas Safe registered.
Shane Cavanagh issued a Landlord's Gas Safety record for the flat
after completing the work in 2012, but when the tenant moved in soon
after they discovered a gas leak.
Shrewsbury Magistrates heard on 20 February that a Health &
Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found both men had previously been
Gas Safe registered but allowed their registration to lapse.
Trading as Gas Master, Peter Cavanagh's registration lapsed a few
years ago as he intended to focus on quotes and administration, leaving
his son to carry out the actual gas work. However, Shane Cavanagh's
registration lapsed in 2011 and Peter Cavanagh carried on doing gas
Peter Cavanagh was contacted by HSE in November 2011 after being
informed by Gas Safe Register that he was carrying out gas work. He
signed a form from HSE saying he would not carry out gas work again
while unregistered, although he had already taken on the work at the
property in Market Drayton.
In March 2012, Peter Cavanagh was issued with a Prohibition Notice by
HSE banning him from carrying out gas work until he was both competent
to do so and registered with Gas Safe Register. A similar Prohibition
Notice was issued to his son in July 2012.
Peter Cavanagh has since retaken his qualifications and re-registered with Gas Safe in September 2012.
Peter Cavanagh pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas
Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was given an 18
week prison sentence, suspended for two years, alongside 240 hours of
unpaid work, and was ordered to pay costs of £5,547.
Shane Cavanagh pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health
& Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The court imposed an 18-month
community order, in which he must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, and
ordered him to pay £2,552 costs.
HSE inspector Janice Dale said: "Anyone who carries out work on
boilers, hobs, ovens, fires or any other gas appliances without being on
the Gas Safe Register is breaking the law. Peter Cavanagh carried out
work in domestic premises knowing his registration had lapsed and
despite giving HSE assurances that he would stop such work.
"Shane Cavanagh signed the Certificate stating that the installation
was safe, although he was not legally entitled to do so, and a gas leak
was found shortly afterwards. Both men were putting tenants and
homeowners at risk."
Gas Safe Register is the official gas
registration body for the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey,
appointed by the relevant Health and Safety Authority for each
area. By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe