An unregistered plumber has been sentenced after conducting gas work and leaving it in a dangerous state.
Torquay Magistrates heard how Stephen Barton undertook the installation of a gas cooker and gas boiler at two separate properties in Dawlish and Exeter during January and May 2016. Gas Safe Register experts inspected his work at the homes and classed it as dangerous.
Stephen Barton of Park Road, Dawlish pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He has been sentenced to undertake 300 hours of unpaid community work and to pay £3,600 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Jones said:
“Stephen Barton undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do. 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.”
Every year in the UK, more than 200 people go to hospital and around 50 die from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning due to inadequately installed or unserviced gas appliances. When carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters the bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body) to form carboxyhaemoglobin. The blood can then no longer carry oxygen, and lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die. Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste, so occupants can be unaware they are breathing in this dangerous gas. Landlords have a specific duty to ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are maintained and serviced at least annually. We recommend fitting carbon monoxide monitors to warn occupant of potential gas leaks - a simple precaution that could save 50 lives a year.