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Written by
on 19 October 2011

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If you are self-employed then you will need to take responsibility for your own health and safety. It can be difficult to know where your duties lie, which is why it is a good idea to contact health and safety consultants to help you stay within the law and prevent any accidents affecting you and the public.

Builder Worked On Gas without Being Gas Safe Registered

A self-employed builder has recently been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after he decided to work on a gas installation.  The work he performed was unsafe and therefore lives were put at risk at a house in Lockerbie.

While working on a client’s home on the plastering and general repairs, Kevin Graham decided to install a gas fire which the owners of the home had recently purchased.  He told the customers that he had recently put one in his own home and that the job was not difficult.  The only problem was Mr Graham is not registered as a Gas Safe engineer, therefore he is not legally allowed to install any gas appliances without Gas Safe Registration.

The fire was used throughout the winter of 2009, until the owner noticed a smell of gas in the home in early 2010. They called out a gas engineer who worked for a local plumbing and heating firm who did a check of the fire. After noticing a gas leak from the back of the fire the gas engineer prohibited use of the fire effective immediately.  The same engineer then contacted the HSE about their concerns regarding the fire and the installation.

Numerous Safety Issues Discovered

A proper investigation of the fire was then carried out by a Gas Safe Register Inspector.  During their investigation they confirmed that the fire was leaking LPG and that the connect fitting was loose which supplied the fire with gas.  Furthermore there was an 11 meter long pipe which was not safely installed. There was no support and this put a lot of stress on the joints, which could have resulted in another gas leak.

Another problem was noticed when inspecting the flue which could have meant smoke and fumes remained in the property rather than escaping out of the flue.  There were unsealed gaps and Mr Graham also used expanding foam which was a fire risk in itself.  The gas fire was not secured to the surround and as a result there was even more chance of dangerous fumes leaking into the home.

With all of these issues being discovered the Health and Safety Executive placed a Prohibition Notice on Mr Graham.  This meant that he was not allowed to work on any pipe work or gas fittings effective immediately. Mr Graham then attended Dumfries Sherriff Crown Court on October 11th and was given a 240 hour community service order.

Are You Working Within the Law?

Health and Safety Consultants can help you understand what you can and can’t do when self-employed.  One of the great health and safety services are the audits. These will help to highlight any areas of weakness and make sure you are following the laws in place to protect you and others. Call 0800 1488 677 to speak to health and safety consultants today.

About 

Chartered health and safety consultant. 20+ years helping busy people in construction and the built environment. David provides how-to articles, advice and guidance to help explain and make compliance easier for clients. A solutionist with a brain you can pick. And you can easily get in touch with David on social media Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Chartered health and safety consultant. 20+ years helping busy people in construction and the built environment. David provides how-to articles, advice and guidance to help explain and make compliance easier for clients. A solutionist with a brain you can pick. And you can easily get in touch with David on social media Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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