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Jail for unregistered installer

An unregistered gas installer was jailed for 84 days after pleading guilty to two counts of carrying out gas work in contravention of a Prohibition Notice.

Kevin Hall of Woodpecker Way
, Cannock, trading as Norfix Plumbing and Heating,  was issued with a prohibition notice in July 2008 after the Health and Safety Executive discovered he was carrying out work without being properly registered.

In December llast year HSE discovered he was continuing to carry out work while claiming to be registered to Corgi – which was responsible for gas installer registration at the time.

Speaking after the case, HSE investigating inspector Andrew Bowker said:  'Kevin Hall continued to do sub-standard gas work without registration. The work has needed to be put right by registered engineers. Fortunately, in this instance, no one died or became ill. Such a blatant disregard for the law will not be ignored by HSE.

'By failing to be correctly registered with CORGI, Hall gained financial advantage over bona fide registered installers. However, the householders incurred additional costs in remedial work so their installations were a false economy.

'Every effort was made to contact Mr Hall in order to resolve the situation before proceedings were brought, so he was well aware that he was acting unlawfully.

'HSE would urge anyone having gas work undertaken to ensure that the contractor carries a Gas Safe Register identity card. Tenants must also ensure that their landlord has provided them with a current gas safety certificate.'

Hall was jailed for 84 days at Cannock Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to two counts of breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by carrying out gas work in contravention of a Prohibition Notice.

The Court heard the HSE started an investigation into work carried out by Hall after receiving a complaint concerning gas work undertaken at a house in Cannock in 2008. Hall had replaced an old gas boiler after falsely claiming to be Corgi registered. Mr Hall used another engineer's Corgi registration number on paperwork that he gave to the householder.

When the work was inspected by a Corgi registered engineer, it was found to be 'not up to current standards' although it appeared to pose no major risk to the occupants.

In July 2008, a Prohibition Notice was issued against Hall preventing him from carrying out further gas installation work.

Despite attempts by HSE staff to contact Hall, he did not get in touch. The ensuing HSE investigation uncovered further boiler installations in Cannock and nearby Brocton that had been completed in December 2008 after the Prohibition Notice had been served. At both addresses, Hall had falsely claimed to be Corgi registered and left the households with heating systems without hot water.

While the installations were not immediately dangerous, they did not comply with current standards and the householders received no paperwork certifying that the work had been carried out according to the gas safety regulations.