Two contractors in court over illegal gas work in Suffolk

Two men have been fined for organising and carrying out illegal gas work as part of a construction job at a property in Suffolk.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Anthony Hylins, of Cambridgeshire, organised the installation of a gas boiler at a property in Exning, Suffolk, between January and May of 2014 after he had been contracted by the owner to build an extension. He sub-contracted the job to Mark Smith of Newmarket, who was not Gas Safe registered.

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Hylins knew Mark Smith was not Gas Safe registered, but had expected him to attend the site with a registered engineer, who would oversee and sign-off on the work. This is a practice that is expressly prohibited by Gas Safe.

A subsequent inspection by Gas Safe found serious safety flaws with Mr Smith’s boiler installation. There had been a significant gas leak; the cover of the boiler had been fitted wrongly; and the flue had not been sealed correctly. The appliance was made safe by a registered engineer.

Mr Hylins was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £645 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.

Mr Smith was fined £1,000, ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge as well as £645 in costs after admitting a breach of Section 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation & use) Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE inspector, Ivan Brooke, said: “HSE will not hesitate to investigate cases of unsafe and unregistered gas work and hold offenders to account. Householders should always ask for evidence of Gas Safe registration and/or check the Gas Safe Register online before allowing work on gas appliances. Gas work by people not competent to do so can expose people to risk of fire/explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.”

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