Colchester worker in court over illegal gas work

A Colchester-based worker has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service and been given a suspended prison sentence for illegally fitting two gas fires and servicing a boiler at homes in the town despite not being registered to work with gas.

Colchester Magistrates Court was told today (5 September) that Mark Bond had installed a gas fire in October 2011 and, believing that he had done a good job, the householder recommended his services to her daughter.

During this second installation, the fire manufacturer asked for Mr Bond’s Gas Safe registration details and he provided someone else’s ID number.

Mr Bond attempted to argue that he and the other man worked together but when the householder contacted the Gas Safe Register, they confirmed that he was not registered with them and was therefore working illegally and putting the householders at potential risk.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Bond had previously been registered to carry out gas work between August 2003 and April 2007, and was therefore well aware of the need to be registered on the Gas Safe Register before carrying out any work on gas appliances or pipework.

Mark Bond, trading as Bond Technical Services, of Granary Court, Hythe Quay, Colchester, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service, and to pay £1,965.50 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and one breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.

Following the case, HSE Inspector Edward Crick said:

“Mark Bond had previously held suitable registration and competencies for working safely with gas and was therefore well aware of the need to be registered with the appropriate authorities.

“Although thankfully nobody was injured, Mr Bond put two householders at potential risk of injury through his thoughtless actions.

“We would always urge householders to check the registration of any person carrying out any gas work and to ask to see their card which they carry with them.”

Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“In the right hands gas is safe but gas work should only ever be undertaken by a suitably qualified and competent Gas Safe registered engineer.

“In order to become Gas Safe registered, gas fitters have to demonstrate their competence to recognised training and accreditation bodies and the public should always ensure that whoever is carrying out gas work can prove they are registered.

“Every registered engineer has an ID card which can be used to check they are who they say they are and shows the kinds of gas work they are qualified to carry out. You can check the details by calling 0800 408 5500 or link to external website.”