Two men fined over illegal gas work

Published:  18 March, 2015

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 & 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 owners to build an extension. He subcontracted the job to Mark Smith of Newmarket, who was not Gas Safe registered.

On 12 March, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court heard Mr Hylins knew that Mr 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 Register.

A subsequent inspection by Gas Safe Register 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.

Anthony Thomas Hylins of Railway Close, Burwell, Cambridgeshire, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £645.90 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.

Mark Smith of Exeter Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, was fined £1,000, ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge as well as £645.90 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."

Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, added: "Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card, which shows who they are and the type of gas appliances they are qualified to work on. We always encourage the public to ask for and check the card and if they have any concerns about the safety of work carried out in their home, to speak to us. Every year we investigate thousands of reports of illegal gas work."