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Heating engineer fined for false Gas Safe claims

A Middlesex-based heating engineer has been fined almost £3,500 for falsely claiming to be Gas Safe registered.

Tony MacTaggart, trading as TJM Heating and Plumbing of Enfield, admitted breaching Gas Safety regulations when he appeared before Hertford magistrates (6 December).

The court heard that Mr MacTaggart regularly told customers he was Gas Safe registered when he was not.

He also persuaded correctly registered Gas Safe heating engineers to sign off installations by asking them to carry out the annual gas safety inspection.

The deception was revealed in 2009 when a householder in Cheshunt complained about the quality of work.

A Gas Safe engineer who was called out disconnected the boiler after identifying it as being in a dangerous condition.

The Health and Safety Executive was alerted and Mr MacTaggart’s bogus status was revealed.

Mr MacTaggart was fined £2,500 with £900 costs.

After the case, senior HSE ­inspector Stephen Manley 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.

“Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. Only qualified and registered engineers should attempt it.

“HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way.”

Gas Safe Register chief executive Paul Johnston said: “Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause fires, explosions, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

All gas and heating engineers carrying out domestic or commercial gas work must register under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.