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Serial cowboy pays £53,711 for dangerous gas work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted Chris Bradshaw, trading as Chris Bradshaw Heating and Plumbing, for repeatedly committing safety breaches involving dangerous and illegal gas work.
Bradshaw pleaded guilty at Pwllheli Magistrates Court to health and safety offences after a combi boiler and gas hob he installed in a home in April 2007 were not correctly converted from natural gas to LPG propane and produced very high levels of carbon monoxide.

At the time, Bradshaw was only registered with the former gas trade regulator CORGI to work on natural gas but not LPG Propane.

In November 2007, Bradshaw went on to install a new natural gas fire and boiler which had numerous faults. Following a gas leak from the supply pipe to the fire, Bradshaw was suspended from the CORGI register.

In November 2008, Bradshaw replaced internal and external LPG propane gas pipe work at another property and reconnected the pipe work to an existing gas fire. The fire had dangerous faults and there were numerous risks with the pipework which was not to current standards. Bradshaw was then removed from the CORGI register and subject to a prohibition notice at the time of this work.

On June 11, the gas worker was fined £38,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,711 at court. Bradshaw pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by working in non-compliance with a prohibition notice and was fined £10,000 on that charge. He also pleaded guilty to 14 breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1988, and was fined £2,000 for each charge.

HSE inspector Gary Martin said: 'Mr Bradshaw has shown a blatant disregard for the law, codes of practice and standards regulating the domestic gas safety market. Fitters who try to work beyond their assessed competence are not only breaking the law but could also cost lives. His work has given rise to a number of immediately dangerous situations and his incompetent work has had the potential to endanger householders, including children, from the risk of fire or explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.'

Gas engineers must now be members of the Gas Safe Register and carry a card which details on the back the type of gas work they are allowed to undertake.
16 June 2010

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