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28th January 2021
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Stourbridge builder fined for illegal gas work
James Raybould, who trades as Jim Raybould Electrical, Plumbing & Building Services, has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive for carrying out gas work at four houses in Worcester between September 2009 and July 2010, despite not being Gas Safe registered.
The Gas Safe Register is the official compulsory registration scheme for gas engineers in Britain and it is illegal to carry out domestic gas work without registration.
Worcester Magistrates' Court heard the offences were discovered when James Raybould failed to fix a leak in a gas boiler he had earlier fitted.
His client contacted a registered gas engineer who told her the work was substandard. She then alerted the Gas Safe Register, who checked the four properties where the gas work had been carried out and they found two of the fires Mr Raybould had fitted were dangerous. The court also heard a family at one of the houses had suffered from headaches, which they suspected had been caused by the gas fire.
Mr Raybould pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £1,330 and ordered to pay £1170 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said:
"Anyone who works on domestic gas appliances without being Gas Safe registered is breaking the law. James Raybould's substandard work meant the appliances were a serious risk to the health & safety of the people using them.
"Poorly installed gas work can cause explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal and can also cause serious long-term health problems. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, breathlessness, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, vomiting, collapse and loss of consciousness.
"Anyone who hires a gas engineer to carry out work in their home should always ask to see their Gas Safe Register identity card and contact the Register immediately on 0800 408 5500 or visit the website www.gassaferegister.co.uk if they have any concerns."
Paul Johnston, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said:
"All Gas Safe registered engineers undergo rigorous training to ensure that the work they carry out in people's homes is safe. With a quarter of a million gas jobs carried out every year by illegal gas fitters who don't have the skills or the qualifications to work safely on gas, it is vital that householders always check that the engineer they use is on the Gas Safe Register, or they could be putting their lives and pocket at risk."
More information about the dangers of carbon monoxide is available from:
7th October 2011