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Illegal gas work lands builder in dock

23 September 2019

A SELF-employed builder has been found guilty and sentenced after conducting gas work he was not registered or competent to do and leaving it in a dangerous condition.

Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how in March 2018 Christopher Finley, sole director of Centreline Building Services Ltd, quoted for a kitchen re-fit which included the installation of a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) hob at a property in Cornwall. He undertook this work and installed a new LPG gas hob. There was no paperwork left with the customer.

When the client found faults with the hob, she attempted to make contact with Mr Finley and requested the gas safety certificate, but no response was received. A properly registered gas engineer later inspected the work and found it to be of poor standard and classed it as ‘At Risk’. It was found that Mr Finley had left the LPG hob that he fitted in a dangerous state. He had failed to change the injectors from those fitted for natural gas to those required for LPG. There was therefore too much gas being supplied at the hob which could have resulted in a fire and explosion.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Finley was not and never has been a member of Gas Safe Register. He was not registered or competent to undertake gas work. He should have used a registered gas engineer to undertake the gas work element of the kitchen refit.

Christopher Finley of Crockington Lane, Wolverhampton was found guilty of breaching Regulations 3(1), 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He has been given a six month suspended sentence on each breach, ordered to do 160 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £7505.40.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Jones said, “Mr Finley undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do.

“All gas work must be done by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”