Beware of illegal gas fitters, warns HSE

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Source: hse.gov.uk

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned of the dangers of having gas work done by illegal gas workers.

It follows the successful joint prosecution today (8 September) by HSE and Hull Trading Standards of Andrew Ian McLatchie, of Hull, who was fined £550 and ordered to pay £500 costs at Hull and Holderness Magistrates' Court. Mr McLatchie pleaded guilty to seven breaches of Regulation 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and four breaches of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.

The breaches related to work carried out at three properties in Hull for which he was not CORGI (now ‘Gas Safe') registered. Two of the properties involved work undertaken through insurance companies following the floods of 2007.

A joint investigation between Hull City Council's Trading Standards and HSE was launched after the owners of the properties discovered Mr McLatchie was not a registered gas fitter. When the work was checked for safety by the gas registration body, numerous defects were found.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Chris Chambers commented: “We urge homeowners to be on their guard when having gas work carried out at their properties and to always check the fitter is on the Gas Safe Register. In this instance Mr McLatchie installed gas appliances and gas pipework at three properties after falsely claiming he was registered. Mr McLatchie appeared in court for potentially putting lives at risk by carrying out defective gas work without the proper accreditation, and we will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who break the law and endanger others in this way.”

Chris Wilson, assistant Trading Standard Officer for Hull City Council, added: “By making false claims regarding his registration to work on gas, Andrew McLatchie clearly deceived customers, some of whom were in a desperate situation after suffering flood damage to their homes. Any allegations of a trader conducting their business in such a manner will always warrant a full investigation by Trading Standards.”

Gas engineers undertaking gas work must be registered with a body approved by HSE. The body currently approved is Gas Safe Register. For more information or to check registered gas engineers in your area go to www.gassaferegister.co.uk.


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