St Alban’s Crown Court heard how Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd had been sub-contracted to carry out all the gas, plumbing and above ground drainage work at the Royal Veterinary College between December 2010 and September 2011.
Subsequently multiple gas leaks were found across a new student village, putting hundreds of students housed on the campus at risk.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found 50 fittings where cheaper water fittings had been used instead of gas fittings. The installation was classified as ‘immediately dangerous’ under the Gas Safe classification scheme.
At the time the work was carried out neither Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd not any of its employees were registered on the Gas Safe Register, as required. The company actually specialises in information technology (IT) and is a subsidiary of Japan’s NTT Group (Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation).
Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd of Fleet, Hampshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £466,660 and ordered to pay costs of £11,548.68.
HSE inspector Graham Tompkins said after the case: “Unregistered gas work puts people and property at real risk. Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous, so it is vital that this is only undertaken by trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe.
“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against rogue gas fitters who disregard the new law and place lives at risk. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”