This article comes from the United Kingdom. An illegal gas fitter from Poole has been fined after putting people in danger by breaching gas safety regulations. It teaches us the lesson that we must hire competent, licensed contractors to install systems in our homes. Colin Yeatman, who lives on Gort Road and traded as COB Plumbing Ltd, installed a hot water system, gas cooker and gas coiler at a new-build property in Poole during 2012, and fitted a gas boiler at a Broadstone house in 2010.
However, although he was performing work on gas appliances, he was not qualified to do so. He left the appliances in a hazardous condition after falsely claiming to be on the Gas Safe register.
A council building inspector examined Yeatman’s gas work on the Poole property, and discovered that although COB Plumbing had been put down as the installer, the official documents used another gas engineer’s details.
A Gas Safe Register Investigations Officer took a look at Yeatman’s work and discovered seven different defects, two of which were found to put people at risk of injury and death.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was told about the failings and discovered that neither Yeatman nor COB Plumbing were Gas Safe-registered.
Then, in 2013, the owner of the boiler in Broadstone noticed that the appliance was leaking. An engineer was called and identified a number of different defects. The HSE then discovered that Yeatman had used another firm’s details on the official documentation for the boiler installation, and that this other company had been registered as Gas Safe.
In a hearing on April 2nd in Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Colin Yeatman admitted four different breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £1,000 ($1,659) and will have to pay additional costs of £500 ($829). COS Plumbing also admitted four breaches of the 1998 regulations and was fined £10,000 ($16,589) with costs of £8,056 ($13,360).The regulations that Yeatman and COS Plumbing pleaded guilty to breaching are as follows:
- – Regulation 3(1), which prohibits people from working on gas fittings if they are not competent to do so
- – Regulation 3(3), which prohibits people who are not on the Gas Safe Register from performing work on gas fittings and pipework
- – Regulation 3(7), which prohibits people from falsely claiming to be on the Gas Safe Register
- – Regulation 26(1), which prohibits people from installing gas appliances in such a way as for the appliance to pose a danger to people
- – Regulation 4, which calls for employers and self-employed persons to take reasonable steps to ensure gas work they control is performed by approved persons
Mehtaab Hamid, an inspector for the HSE, called Yeatman’s actions “quite deliberate”. He noted that the offender was aware that he needed to be Gas Safe-registered if he was to perform his work legally.
Mr Hamid said that Yeatman was not competent or qualified to work on gas appliances, but chose to do so regardless. The substandard work he performed put residents at risk, he added.
Gas Safe Register Chief Executive Russell Kramer advised people to check engineers’ ID cards when the engineer is fixing or fitting gas appliances.