A self-employed gas fitter has been sentenced after carrying out gas work despite being no longer legally allowed to do so.
Swansea Magistrates Court heard how, between July 2014 and December 2015, Lee Mellor worked on a domestic gas installation without being on the Gas Safe Register.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Lee Mellor issued a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate in December 2015 and carried out this work despite being warned by HSE in March 2014 not to.
Lee Mellor of Derwen Fawr, Neath, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (3) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and has been fined £1,600 and ordered to pay costs of £530.20. Speaking after the hearing.
HSE inspector Simon Breen said:
“Lee Mellor undertook gas work which he knew he was legally unable to do. “All gas work must be carried out by Gas Safe Registered engineers only to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”
It is tragic that we report on carbon monoxide poisoning most months. It is essential that boilers are serviced annually and work is conducted by a registered gas engineer. More than 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, which leads to around 50 deaths due to inadequately installed or unserviced gas appliances.
After 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. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die. Because carbon monoxide has no smell or taste, occupants can be unaware they are breathing in this dangerous gas.
It is recommended that carbon monoxide monitors should be fitted to warn the occupant of any potential gas leaks. This is an appalling case whereby four lives were put at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a lack of planning and risk assessing. All contractors should be checked against the Gas Safe Register.