Plumber sentenced for carrying out illegal gas work

An investigation by prosecutors, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found Mr MacTaggart installed a gas boiler in Cranleigh Close, Cheshunt between October and November 2009.

Hertford Magistrates’ Court heard the homeowners subsequently complained about his work to Gas Safe, who visited the property and found the boiler in a dangerous condition.

The Gas Safe engineer disconnected the boiler and alerted HSE to Mr MacTaggart’s deception. HSE found he had been claiming to be Gas Safe registered, carrying out work and then tricking registered engineers into signing off the installations by asking them to carry out annual gas safety inspections.

Mr MacTaggart admitted breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £ £2,500 and was ordered to pay full costs of £902 plus a Victim Surcharge of £15.

HSE Inspector Stephen Manley, said:

“It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on a gas appliance. When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine, they are also putting their customers’ lives at risk.

"Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. Only qualified and registered engineers should attempt it.

"HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way."

Paul Johnston, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register added:

“If you’re employing an engineer to fit, fix or service gas appliances, you should always make sure that person is Gas Safe registered. If they say they are, don’t just take their word for it. Check they are on the Gas Safe Register and check their ID card when they arrive at your door.

“You shouldn’t take any risks, badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause fires, explosions, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

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