A company director and an illegal gas fitter have been fined after potentially putting people in danger through unsafe and unlawful gas work.
Bodmin Magistrates Court heard on December 5th that Lee Curnow, director of Varcun Marble Ltd, had contracted Mark Lawson, of Fore Green, Barripper, to fit gas fires in households between January 2012 and October 2013.
Mr Lawson installed the gas fires in six homes in the Helston, Truro, Redruth and Camborne areas. However, a Gas Safe engineer examined one of the fires after reeving reports that it was leaking fumes, and found “significant failings” in the work.
The six gas fires Mr Lawson installed were then inspected, and four were found to be ‘immediately dangerous’, and another would have been classed as ‘immediately dangerous’ has the gas leak not been previously reported. This meant these five fires posed an immediate risk to people’s property and health if they were to be turned on or left connected to the gas. The remaining fire was classed as ‘at risk’, as it contained at least one fault that would have posed risks to people’s life and property.
The court was told that Mr Curnow did not perform the checks needed to ensure Mr Lawson was on the Gas Safe Register, that Mr Lawson had claimed to be Gas Safe-registered on at least two occasions, and that he had falsely used the registration number and name of a registered engineer when completing the commissioning documents for the gas fires he installed.
Mr Lawson admitted three breaches of gas safety regulations and was fined £10,666 with additional costs of £274, while Mr Curnow admitted a single breach of these regulations and was fined “10,000 with costs of £274.
Speaking after the court hearing, Health and Safety Inspector Simon Jones said Mr Lawson and Mr Curnow had put people’s lives in danger.
He said Mr Lawson “deliberately” claimed to be a Gas Safe engineer and that he performed “substandard work”, and Mr Curnow failed to ask to see Mr Lawson’s register membership card, call the Gas Safe Register or check the installer page through the Gas Safe Register’s website.
Mr Jones pointed out that only registered, qualified engineers are permitted to perform gas work, and that Mr Lawson’s “illegal actions” had misled people into thinking he was allowed to undertake this work.
Gas Safe Register Chief Executive Russel Kramer noted poorly-maintained and badly-fitted gas appliances can lead to explosions, fire and gas leaks.
He urged anyone who requires gas work to check that the person who works on their appliance is on the Gas Safe Register.
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