Torquay Magistrates heard that unregistered plumber Stephen Barton installed a gas cooker and gas boiler at two separate properties in Dawlish and Exeter during January and May 2016.
Gas Safe Register inspected his work at both homes and classed it as dangerous. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that he wasn’t Gas Safe Registered at the time.
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 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 with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning due to inadequately installed or unserviced gas appliances, leading to around 50 deaths. When carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters the bloodstream and mixes with the haemoglobin that carries oxygen around your body to form carboxyhaemoglobin. The blood is then no longer able to carry oxygen, so cells and tissue die from lack of oxygen. Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste, so occupants don't know they are breathing a dangerous gas. Fitting carbon monoxide monitors is essential to warn occupants of gas leaks. This is an appalling case in which a plumber has endangered the lives of families. Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are registered to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances. Always check contractors' details or find an engineer via this Register.