Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Gas Installers Must Consider the Dangers
Posted by David Cant on January 2, 2013

A recent court case has drawn attention to the responsibilities that come with all gas installations. Tom Scholfield, a 28 year old man from Rotherham was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after he was discovered to have left a gas fire in a dangerous condition. Mr Scholfield had installed the gas fire in December 2010.

The fire was left in an immediate dangerous condition until February 2011 when a gas safety engineer spotted the problem. The resident in the house, an elderly lady, was put in immediate danger due to multiple defects.  The safety engineer decided to investigate Mr Scholfield’s credentials and he found that he should not have carried out any gas installation work as he was not registered with Gas Safe.  Mr Scholfield was once on the register, up until March 2010 however he had not kept up his registration and was working with gas installations for several months before he was discovered.

Carbon Monoxide Was Left Flooding Back into the Home

A second inspection discovered that the gas fire was not protected by a seal that is designed to stop carbon monoxide from entering the property. This is a most dangerous situation and therefore a warning notice was issued.  The information concerning the defects was sent to the Health and Safety Executive by Gas Safe. The investigation also found that a second central heating system that Mr Scholfield had installed was also not safe.

Mr Scholfield pleaded guilty to both of the charges for breaching the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations. He was fined £3,000 and must pay an additional £1,000 in court charges.  Mr Scholfiled, who traded as Scholfield Plumbing and Heating, was lucky that the problem with the gas fire was spotted before the lady in the home was made seriously ill, or worse.

Are You Working Safely?

All gas work has to be carried out by someone who is registered on the Gas Safe Register. If you carry out this type of work you have to keep your registration valid, if not you should never take on any jobs that require you to work with gas. With approximately 20 deaths per year caused by carbon monoxide it’s essential that the work is carried out competently. Many people are left seriously ill with brain damage or paralysis which is caused by prolonged exposure to the deadly gas.

Your health and safety consultants will be able to help you discover what laws and regulations you need to follow based on the type of work you carry out. If you are putting people’s lives at risk through the work you carry out in their homes you have a moral and legal duty to make changes to how you work. You could be putting loves at risk and face prosecution and court appearances. Speak to our experts on 0800 1488 677 to find out more about our health and safety services.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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