Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Unregistered gas fitter from Malvern carried out "potentially lethal" work in Worcester
AN unregistered gas fitter has admitted carrying out faulty and “potentially lethal” work at a home in Worcester.
Self-employed Mark Crake, aged 40, of Worcester Road, in Malvern, left gas pouring from a leak in a newly-fitted hob, Worcester Magistrates Court was told.
The prosecution, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, said Crake did the work on July 29, 2011 without carrying out a pressure test to confirm there were no leaks and without tightening the connections to the gas hob.
The home owner smelt gas after returning home in the evening and went to bed with the windows open.
In the morning she contacted National Grid and was told to turn off the gas supply at the inlet valve immediately.
National Grid sent an operative to the house, who confirmed there was a “significant leak” and isolated and turned off the supply. Crake also returned some days later to tighten the connections to the gas hob.
An investigation by Gas Safe Register confirmed the boiler had not been fitted correctly or to current standards and Crake pleaded guilty to breaching two sections of the Gas Safety Act as well as the Health and Safety at Work Act.
He was sentenced to four months in prison for each of the three offences, to run concurrently, but had the sentences suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid community work and pay £3,500 towards the costs of the case.
After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Chris Gregory said Crake’s work was “potentially lethal”.
“Poorly maintained, faulty or badly installed gas work can cause explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal or cause serious long-term health problems,” he said.
“This is why it is essential that only people who are registered as competent, qualified gas engineers with Gas Safe should carry out work on gas fittings.”
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, added: “A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by people who don't have the skills or the qualifications to work safely with gas.
"It's therefore vital that people always make sure the person working on their gas appliances is on the Gas Safe Register. If they don't, they could be putting their family's lives and homes at risk from gas fires, explosions, leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
People can check if there engineer is legal and safe by asking to see a Gas Safe ID Card, or by calling 0800 408 5500 to check their registration number.