Gas safety prosecutions have made the headlines in recent times. The importance of having competent gas safety engineers carry out safe gas works cannot be understated. The law is clear that 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.
Failure to comply with these requirements can have detrimental consequences, as a self-employed gas fitter recently discovered.
It had been reported that a man with management responsibility of a static caravan site has been sentenced for failing to have gas appliances properly maintained and inspected, and for failing to safely store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders.
The HSE’s investigation found that Mr Rooney had no Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificates for the gas appliances in the caravans rented out, some of which were found to be immediately dangerous and had to be disconnected. The LPG cylinders not being used were stored unsafely posing a risk of fire and explosion.
HSE ensured that all the caravans on the site were inspected by a competent person (a Gas Safe registered engineer) to ensure the gas appliances and fittings were safe.
Felix Rooney of Brandon Lane, Coventry pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay full costs of £22,235.00.
Implications for clients – To ensure legal compliance and avoid prosecution the following need to be adhered to:
- Ensure that 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 The Gas Safety Register on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting gassaferegister.co.uk
- Ensure that certified engineer provides a copy of a safe system of work/ method statement for the intended work that is to be carried out. Statutory gas safety inspections must also be carried out on an annual basis.
- Certified gas engineers will be able to carry out a detailed inspection of gas fitting and equipment and diagnose any issues and put fourth a plan for corrective action to be carried out. This will ensure that compliance is met and will enable a reduction/elimination of work-related death, injury and ill health.