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Radstock Illegal Gas Fitter Faces Community Service And Heavy Penalties

By Kevin Burke
3rd June, 2014

An illegal gas fitter from Radstock has been told to complete community service work after being found to have illegally performed gas work at three different households.

John Duncan Chalmers, who lives on Jubilee Road, admitted two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 in a hearing at Bath Magistrates Court on May 15th. As well as performing 240 hours of community work over the next 12 months, he also will have to pay £10,000 in costs, and £713 in compensation to one of the victims of his work.

The breaches related to Regulation 3 (1) of the legislation, which prohibits people from working on gas appliances if they are not competent to do so, and Regulation 3 (3), which prohibits employers from allowing unapproved people from performing gas work and self-employed people from performing such work unless they are approved to do so.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated Chalmers and found that the work he had performed at three properties in Paulton, Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet did not meet gas safety standards.

Magistrates also heard that Chalmers was not on the Gas Safe Register and did not currently hold any qualifications that would have permitted him to perform gas appliance repairs or other gas work.

This was not the first time Chalmers had been found to have breached gas safety regulations, and in 2008, he had signed an undertaking stating that he would no longer perform gas work until he had achieved the appropriate registration status with the Gas Safe Register.

HSE Inspector Mehtaab Hamid described Chalmers as a "serial offender". He noted that although Chalmers is aware of gas safety law, he has chosen to "work outside it" on a number of occasions.

Gas fitters like Mr Chalmers are "prepared to work illegally" and can perform work that can put people's lives in danger, he added.

The reason the Gas Safe Register exists is to protect the public from gas fitters like Chalmers, he explained, adding that anyone who performs gas work must be on this register and must be competent to perform the work properly.

Cases like this underline the need for people to ask to see the credentials of anyone who works at their household, especially when the work will involve gas, he added.

Anyone who is interested in ascertaining the registration status of a gas fitter can contact the Gas Safe Register by visiting their website or calling 08000 408 5500.

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke writes about health and safety issues on behalf of boiler breakdown cover experts 247 Home Rescue. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!

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