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Updated Aug 23, 2022

Gas installer fined after not answering HSE questions

An unqualified plumber who was suspected of carrying out dangerous gas work has been fined after failing to answer questions put to him by a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector.

In February 2020 the plumber was alleged to have carried out unlawful gas work to replace a boiler at a house in Wakefield. The new boiler was left in such a dangerous condition that a Gas Safe registered engineer who attended the house had to make it safe by disconnecting it from the gas supply.

During a HSE interview under caution, the plumber claimed to have only been hired to do the installation work up to the point where it would then be connected to the gas supply. He claimed that he had arranged for a qualified friend to complete all the gas work and another friend had assisted him with general labouring at the property.

During the interview the plumber was unwilling to provide the identity of either person, which is an offence as it prevents the inspector from following reasonable lines of enquiry as part of the investigation.

At Huddersfield Magistrates' Court, the plumber pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £583, and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs.

HSE inspector David Beaton said: "The defendant blatantly failed to comply with a requirement under the Health and Safety at Work (etc) Act 1974. This prosecution would not have happened had the defendant provided the information".

"Hopefully, this will send a warning to others that failing to comply with Her Majesty’s Inspectors while they exercise their lawful powers will not be condoned by the HSE".