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Sun June 13 2021

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Builders fined for dodgy gas work

26 Apr 13 A father-and-son team of jobbing builders jeopardised the life of a pensioner when they bodged some gas fitting work while building her a conservatory.

Worcester magistrates heard yesterday that Christopher Amphlett, 65, and his son Mark, 37, trading as Worcester Windows Doors & Conservatories, knew they had to manage the existing flue of the gas boiler before they began the conservatory at the property in Hillside Close, but they didn’t.

When they finished the building in December 2011 they illegally inserted a plastic pipe into the original flue and extended it through the conservatory roof of the ground floor maisonette.

The court heard how the offence only came to light when British Gas visited the property three months later to do its annual check. They detected a gas leak from the flue in the conservatory and immediately condemned the boiler.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the two men were aware that the flue they had put in was defective but they had made no attempt to rectify it. Neither of the pair were Gas Safe registered either.

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Both men pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Each was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work over 12 months and ordered to pay £2,400 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Wai-Kin Liu said: "Christopher and Mark Amphlett knowingly proceeded with an illegal gas fitting task that left the home owner at considerable risk. This case could have been much more serious if the resident had not been due a contracted check by the gas provider.

"Gas appliances may be affected by building works or the modification of premises. A common mistake among some builders and people doing DIY work is that they do not consider the implications of the building work to existing gas appliances.

"This case should serve as a lesson to any builder who is tempted to undertake gas work when not qualified and not registered. Householders should be extra vigilant in checking that any gas work is carried out only by registered engineers."

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