Plumbing Professional In Hot Water Over Unlawful Activities
In mid-February 2023 the Crown Court sitting in the city of Leeds sent out a message to anyone who works with gas and similar commodities. The Court handed down a custodial sentence in the amount of four months imprisonment to a person specializing in the provision of services of a plumbing nature after the plumbing professional had conducted some unlawful activities connected with the provision of services involving the use of gas.
What Happened In The Case?
The plumbing professional operated under a business name and a prospective female customer had approached him requesting gas-related work for her bathroom. This kind of approach is not new or revolutionary as trade persons tout their services to the public daily in return for payment. However, this case differs due to the presence of a false representation which was made by the plumbing professional advising the female customer that he had the experience of installing equipment to provide hot water in her bathroom. This was not the first time the female customer had used professional plumbing services.
Turn For the Worse
The female customer accepted the plumbing professional’s offer based on this representation. However, the turning point whereby the professional had represented to the prospective client that he had experience in installing equipment for heating water in the bathroom and it seemingly persuaded the prospective customer to instruct the professional of his competence, qualification, and skill in the provision of services involving gas. Despite the knowledge that he was not competent to carry out work involving gas and declining instructions from the customer, this appears to have made no difference to the plumbing professional and he decided to carry out the work on the equipment. The plumbing professional took out the current boiler, installed a replacement, and charged the customer over one thousand pounds for the services. However, when the Health and Safety Executive investigated the circumstances, it commented that the professional had neglected to prove his competence by recording his details with the Gas Safety Authorities.
What Did The Health and Safety Executive Say?
When the HSE inspected the equipment in the female customer’s home it flagged concerns of hazards to health or the wider physical premises.
This was not an isolated incident as the regulator uncovered evidence that the plumbing professional had been the subject of an HSE probe following which he was prevented from conducting work involving gas. The records revealed that the plumbing professional had been imprisoned in 2015.
Feet to the Fire?
When confronted by the evidence in front of him the tradesperson entered guilty pleas on the violations of section 3 and section 33 of the Health and Safety at work Act 1973 and Regulation 3 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 which oblige persons operating with gas to be competent and protect the health and safety of those not employed.
Those operating in this area need to be:
complying with Regulation 3 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
seeking out a Gas Safe Registered service provider
approaching the HSE for its suggested approach
ensure they are competent to work with gas appliances
if such persons are not showing on the Register, and do not possess an identification card or proof of competence then this violation of the law and they cannot conduct this activity on such equipment.
Such professionals specialising in services involving gas are obliged from a legal perspective to have an identification card
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THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES
[SOURCE 1] Health and Safety Executive – Plumber jailed after illegal gas work costs elderly woman over £1000 – 10th February 2023 - Plumber jailed after illegal gas work costs elderly woman over £1000 | HSE Media Centre
[SOURCE 2] Regulation 3 Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
[SOURCE 3] Section 3 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
[SOURCE 4] Section 33 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974