HSE Prosecutions Put Gas Safety Concerns In The Spotlight

Expert Comments After Two Separate Cases Highlight Failings


By Rob Dixon

Two separate prosecutions by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have demonstrated the need for contractors to ensure they always comply with gas safety regulations, according to specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell.

In one recent case, Mark Bond, trading as Bond Technical Services, was given a suspended sentence and ordered to carry out community service after fitting two gas fires and servicing a boiler at homes in Colchester in October 2011.

An investigation by the HSE found that Mr Bond had been registered to carry out such work between 2003 and 2007, but Colchester Magistrates Court heard that during the work in question he provided someone else’s ID number.

After being contacted by a householder, the Gas Safe Register confirmed he was working illegally.

In a separate case, Roy Arthur Osborne was ordered to undertake unpaid work after he failed to isolate a gas supply when removing an LPG fire from a property on behalf of a landlord’s agent. An investigation by the HSE found that Mr Osborne undertook the work without being Gas Safe registered.

Sally Rissbrook, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping those injured as a result of unsafe gas work to gain justice over such issues, said: “Working with or undertaking projects in relation to gas is fraught with risk, which is why the Gas Safe Register exists to ensure anyone doing such projects is qualified to do so.

“Engineers, contractors and builders have a duty to put the welfare of customers and the public first, yet these two cases are worrying examples when the importance of compliance with regulations has been ignored.

“We would urge everyone in the industry to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated, while the public need to be aware of the need for workers to be properly registered. The importance of this simply cannot be underestimated.”

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