A gas fitter has been fined after he misled a customer into believing he was legally registered and then carried out work that put lives at risk.
Janusz Mazur, 34, of Sunnyhill Road, Lambeth, was self-employed when he carried out work at a flat in Ritherdon Road, Tooting Bec, installing a new boiler and pipework.
It is a legal requirement for any gas engineering business or self-employed gas engineer carrying out domestic or commercial gas work to be registered under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work carried out was sub-standard. The Gas Safe Register could not confirm the safe operation of the gas pipe work and gas boiler. Gas safety defects with the potential to cause harm were present on installation work, which could have put lives at risk. It was also found that Mr Mazur had falsely pretended to be a Gas Safe registered engineer but was not and never had been.
HSE inspector Saif Deen said:
“There is no excuse for illegally carrying out work on gas appliances and to falsely claim Gas Safe Register membership in order to defraud customers is a very serious offence.
“It is illegal for any unregistered person to carry out such work. When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution, a large fine and a lengthy time in prison – they are also putting their customers’ lives at risk.
“The householder in this case has suffered a great deal of stress and feared for her safety as a result of Mr Mazur’s actions.
“Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially dangerous. Only qualified and registered engineers should attempt it. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way.”
Janusz Mazur, Sunnyhill Road, Lambeth, was found guilty of breaching Regulations 3(3) and 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined £600 with £1,994 costs.
Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register said:
“We work closely with the HSE to investigate unregistered gas fitters and the prosecution of Janusz Mazur comes as welcome news to us all.
“Gas fitters working unregistered like Janusz Mazur are far more common than you think – we estimate they’re doing 250,000 illegal jobs each year, causing fires, explosions, gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning and leaving people out of pocket.
“All gas engineers have to be Gas Safe registered – it’s the law. Our message to everyone is clear – check the engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card before letting them work on gas.”