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Why Skimping on Your Gas Safety Checks Can Cost You More Than Just a Fine
Posted by David Cant on July 30, 2015
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Why Skimping on Your Gas Safety Checks Can Cost You More Than Just a Fine

Man Holding a Warning SignRecently, we saw a repeat offender that’s come across our radar far too many times.

Another dodgy boiler installation done by yet another unregulated worker.

Was he a member of the Gas Safety Register? I’m guessing you already know the answer to that one.

Sure, the guy who’d foolishly employed him was hit by a £6,500 fine. But the incident also highlights how important gas safety really is – and how seriously any Gaswork needs to be considered before you have it done.

So what should you be looking out for?

Check that the business is Gas Safe Registered

There’s only one official list of Gas Safety Registered businesses. The Gas Safe Register is the only body that authorises gas engineers, and any engineers that work with gas are required by law to be on the register.

That means if they’re not on the register – they’re not legally allowed to work with gas. Simple as that.

What exactly does the Gas Safe Register do?

So they’re signed up on an official register. Big deal.

What does it actually mean?

As it turns out, quite a lot. The Register is responsible for all gas safety related issues – from checking out reports of any unsafe work, cracking down on dodgy individuals, and keeping a close eye on the engineers that are registered with them.

Basically, they’re there to keep you safe at all times.

Why can’t you just wing it?

If you’re even remotely tempted to DIY your gas job in a bid to save some extra pennies… well, there are some colourful names out there for you.

You might think that working with gas is no big deal. Or you might convince yourself that you know what you’re doing – but the reality is that poor gas work can be seriously dangerous.

What are the risks?

A badly handled job can leave you exposed to gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning and even fires and explosions.

The potentially fatal dangers of carbon monoxide have been well publicised – but there are still 40 deaths in the UK from it every year. It has no smell – making it undetectable ordinarily – but it can kill you.

Carbon monoxide leaks can happen when you’ve got poorly maintained or installed appliances which are poorly ventilated – heaters and boilers are a common culprit.

Gas leaks can happen from both faulty appliances – and leaking pipework. While natural gas isn’t poisonous in the same way as carbon monoxide – and because they have an added odourant, you can tell pretty quickly when you’ve got a leak.

Nonetheless – they can expose you to another more serious danger – potential fires or explosions. And the worst thing about these is that they can rapidly spread – and be very difficult to contain or control. Want to know more about the risks? Check out the Gas Safe Register here.

Whether they happen in a residential home or a business premise, the consequences of these can be devastating.

Your takeaway points

  • Always make sure that your engineer is Gas Safety Registered
  • This isn’t just some fluffy ‘accreditation’ – the Gas Safe Register keeps tabs on all things gas related – and it’s a legal requirement for engineers to be signed up!
  • Don’t even think about DIY’ing it – the risks include CO poisoning, fires and explosions, which could all potentially have fatal consequences.

Have you had any issues or questions about gas safety? Give us a shout!

About 

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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