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Sun July 03 2022

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Jail sentence for Gas Safe breach

4 May A plumber has been given a suspended jail sentence for carrying out gas work without being registered – and the company that gave him the work was fined £50,000.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Valentin Pauliuc, trading as VP Plumbing & Heating, was hired in February 2019 by HSM Builders Limited, the principal contractor for a domestic renovation in South London, to carry out plumbing and gas work including the installation of a new gas boiler and gas cooker.

However, some of the gas work was later found by a Gas Safe Register inspector to be ‘immediately dangerous’, presenting a threat to life and property if connected to a live gas supply, as it was in this case.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Pauliuc was not registered with Gas Safe Register, as required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

It also prosecuted HSM Builders for not checking that he was registered to do the work.

Valentin Pauliuc, of Downing Close, Harrow, pleaded guilty to a breach of the regulations. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and was placed under a curfew. He was also ordered to pay £1,644 in compensation to the owners of the property, and £4,747.68 in costs.

HSM Builders Limited, of Cedar Avenue, Enfield, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £4,859 in costs.

HSE inspector Gordon Carson said after the hearing: “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. HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against people who break the gas safety rules, which are in place to protect the public.

“We would encourage anyone who is asking for gas work to be done to make sure they check the engineer has the right skills and is registered with Gas Safe Register. Homeowners can ask to see the engineer’s Gas Safe Register identification card, which contains key information.

“By law, businesses should make reasonable efforts to obtain evidence that any person they intend to perform gas installation work, either under contract or on their own behalf, is a member, or employed by a member, of Gas Safe Register.”

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