Unregistered gas fitter fined for illegal boiler work

An unregistered gas fitter has appeared in court in Swindon for carrying out unsafe work on a boiler leaving a householder at risk.
Michael Compton, a parish councillor in Blunsdon, illegally removed a gas boiler and installed a new one at a property at Exmouth Street, Swindon between 19 March and 30 April 2012. Mr Compton was not registered with Gas Safe Register and should not have carried out any type of gas work.
In a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Swindon Magistrates Court heard that Mr Compton had told the householder that his colleague would sign-off the work and provide a guarantee. However, Mr Compton’s failing came to light when the colleague refused to sign the guarantee on his behalf.
HSE also found that Mr Compton been cautioned before for carrying out illegal gas work and had signed a letter to state that he would not carry out such work in future.
Michael Compton, of Widhill Lane, Blunsdon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,840 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Whittles, said:
“Mr Compton’s dangerous boiler work could have led to injury or even a fatality. He chose to disregard the previous caution, ignored his commitment not to take on further illegal gas work and then expected a colleague to sign-off his shoddy work.
“Anyone working with gas has to be registered as trained and competent to do so and be members of the Gas Safe Register by law. That way customers can be sure they are dealing with an engineer who is qualified to do the job.
“Unregistered gas fitters expose people to unacceptable risks that can prove fatal. Any business or sole trader who carries out work on any gas appliance without being registered is breaking the law and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute.”
Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:
“Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries an ID card which not only proves who they are but also gives details of the kind of work they are qualified to carry out. We always encourage the public to ask to see an engineer’s ID card and to call us on 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk link to external website to check the details. A registered engineer will never mind being asked and it helps us all to make life more difficult for the illegal gas fitters.”

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