A gas fitter from Westbury, Wiltshire has been prosecuted for illegal and unsafe gas work after falsely claiming to be on the Gas Safe Register.
Ken Pirie appeared before North Wiltshire Magistrates this week (16 April) in relation to work on a gas boiler at an address in Oldfield Park, Westbury on 15 March 2012.
He claimed to be qualified to carry out work on gas appliances, but a subsequent investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which brought the prosecution, established that he wasn’t registered with Gas Safe – a legal requirement for anyone undertaking such work.
Magistrates heard that an investigator from Gas Safe Register went to the domestic address on 11 June 2012 following complaints from the householder. They discovered work had been done to the boiler that breached specifications for gas appliances and could be classed as unsafe.
Pirie pleaded guilty to three separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 80 hours’ unpaid community service and was also ordered to pay £450 compensation to the householder and £1,000 towards prosecution costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Andy Shaw said: "Incorrectly fitted gas appliances can be highly dangerous and can lead to loss of life. Those who undertake gas work must be on the Gas Safe Register and be competent to carry out such work. Anyone who works on gas appliances without being registered is breaking the law.
"Ken Pirie knew this and falsely claimed to be Gas Safe registered to compensate. Yet he clearly wasn’t competent, as his unsafe handiwork testified. This case highlights the need for householders to check the credentials of anyone working at their property, especially where gas is involved."
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: "Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card which shows who they are and the type of work they are qualified to carry out. Customers should ask to see this and check the engineer is qualified to do the job in hand. You can also check your engineer by calling us on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk."