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Plumber sentenced for illegal gas work

A plumber who illegally worked on gas boilers has been sentenced in court, following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.
HSE investigators found Anthony Grove, who carried out plumbing work at two houses in Southend between May and September 2009, also replaced old boilers at the properties after giving the home owners false CORGI registration details.

The court heard that both homeowners complained about Grove's work to Gas Safe, the body now responsible for registering gas workers. Gas Safe alerted the HSE.

Investigators found Grove's work had been carried out incorrectly and said that in one case, the new installation he had done posed an immediate danger.

The plumber was found to have been employed as a gas fitter with different companies between February 2000 and February 2008, even though he was not registered with CORGI as required by law at the time.

Immediately after the HSE investigation started, Grove was served a prohibition notice to stop him carrying out further gas work until he could prove he was registered.

Grove pleaded guilty to working on a gas boiler and exposing his customers to risks at Southend Magistrates' Court. He was fined £850 and ordered to pay £500 in costs.

HSE Inspector Steve Hook, 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. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way.'

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register said: '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.'
26 May 2010

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