In August 2021, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) published details that an unregistered gas fitter would be fined and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months after the “dangerous installation of a range cooker at a care home”.
How can your gas engineering company stay within the law and avoid fines or even prison? In this article, we’ll explain the relevant health and safety training and registrations that gas fitters require to work safely within the law.
If you want to learn how to secure a Gas Safe registration, a must-have for any gas engineering business to operate legally in the UK, please keep reading.
Unregistered gas fitter causes leak at care home
The gas engineer in question caused a dangerous gas leak at a care home while attempting to install a new gas range cooker in place of an existing appliance in the care home’s kitchen. The case was heard at Exeter Crown Court on Christmas Eve 2020, which set forth that the defendant damaged the existing gas cooker during a botched installation.
The leak was detected when the care home staff contacted their regular Gas Safe registered engineer after experiencing problems with the new cooker. A significant gas leak was identified and the resulting investigation by the HSE uncovered that the individual in question was not certified with Gas Safe at the time.
As further evidence of shoddy workmanship, the engineer failed to follow the manufacturer’s installation guidance which explained the correct installation methods to comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Why Gas Safe registration is so important
The Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body of gas engineers in the UK. In fact, it is the only official register in the UK, and it is a legal requirement for all gas engineers to be on the Gas Safe Register.
A gas engineer cannot undertake gas installation or maintenance works unless they have a current valid qualification to do so. A place on the register is not a confirmation of quality of work however, only competence. To prove competence as a gas engineer, individuals will need to qualify through a recognised training and assessment course.
What does the Gas Safe Register do?
- Maintain the list of all UK based businesses and gas engineers licensed to legally work on gas
- Monitor and inspect all members of the register to ‘ensure they are applying gas competence’
- Investigate gas safety complaints against registered engineers and businesses
- Apply sanctions where unsafe work has been proven
- Investigate illegal work by unregistered business and engineers and report findings to the HSE
- Educate consumers through campaigns into carbon monoxide dangers and the pitfalls of using illegal engineers
How to join the register
To become Gas Safe registered, you will need to make an application for Gas Safe registration.
Before you can register, you need to prove your competence working with gas, ultimately to demonstrate that you will not pose dangers to the public through your work.
Evidence of gas safety competence is gained through training and qualifications from a recognised awarding body. On completion of appropriate training, the awarding body will provide evidence of gas safety competence to the Gas Safe Register.
For an up-to-date list of recognised training programmes and relevant qualifications, check the EU Skills website.
Once you have the relevant qualifications and evidence of competence, you only need to apply for registration. At this point, you will begin a temporary probation period. Read more about the path to becoming gas registered here.
Get in touch to discuss your HS&E requirements
Whether you are Gas Safe registered or have concerns that you are not meeting your HS&E obligations in other areas, please get in touch with us today to discuss in more detail. We’d love to meet you at our offices in Chatham, or alternatively we’d be more than happy to meet you at your business premises or another suitable location.