A Hampshire-based utilities company has been fined more than £450,000 plus costs for dangerous gas installations at The Royal Veterinary College.
St Albans Crown Court heard how Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure had been sub-contracted to carry out all the gas, plumbing, and above ground drainage work at the College from December 2010 until September 2011. Multiple gas leaks were found across a new student village, putting hundreds of students housed on the campus at risk.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found 50 incorrect fittings had been used, with cheaper water fittings being used instead of gas fittings. The installation was classified as ‘Immediately Dangerous’. At the time the work was carried out, neither Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure nor any of its employees were registered on the Gas Safe Register.
Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd of Fleet, Hampshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £466,660 and ordered to pay costs of £11,548.68.
HSE Inspector Graham Tompkins said: “Unregistered gas work puts people and property at real risk. Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous, so it is vital that this is only undertaken by trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe.
“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against rogue gas fitters who disregard the new law and place lives at risk. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”