Gas fitter in court over ‘risky’ work at house

Have your say

A GAS fitter from West Yorkshire has been ordered to carry out unpaid community work after being prosecuted over safety lapses which left an elderly woman at risk when he fitted a new boiler at her home.

Gareth Harland, of Milligan Avenue, Bradford, carried out the work at the woman’s home but failed to seal the flue to the building. Unhappy with the work, the woman called Gas Safe and found out he was not registered.

An inspection classified the work as “at risk”. The woman was able to stop her cheque for the work in time.

Around the same period, between January and February last year, he fitted a new boiler for a couple in Otley.

They also discovered that he was not accredited by the Gas Safe Register when he failed to contact the manufacturer about the boiler warranty. An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive.

Bradford Magistrates’ Court heard this week that Harland had been a registered gas engineer for several years and had been employed by some large companies before setting up his own business as a sole trader.

He let his registration lapse in June 2010 but carried on working as a gas installer.

Harland re-registered in March 2011 when his work was under investigation. In June, while he was under the supervision of Gas Safe Register, he installed a gas boiler at a commercial firm in Bradford which inspected and found to be unsafe.

HSE inspector Julian Franklin said: “The failure of Mr Harland to maintain his registration and the fact that his work fell well below the standard expected, demonstrates an unacceptable degree of carelessness that left people, including a vulnerable elderly woman, in danger.”

Harland admitted four charges under the gas safety regulations. He must do 200 hours unpaid work, pay £1,000 costs and a further £350 in compensation to the Otley householder for work that had to be redone.