Father and son prosecuted for illegal gas work

A father and son from Crewe have been prosecuted for their involvement in carrying out illegal gas work.

Peter Cavanagh, 57, and his son Shane, 24, both of Oak Tree Close and trading as Gas Master, were involved in the installation of central heating in a flat in Swan Mews, Market Drayton, between October 2011 and February 2012 despite not being Gas Safe registered.

Shane Cavanagh issued a Landlord’s Gas Safety record for this flat once work was completed in February 2012 but when the tenant moved in soon after they discovered a gas leak.

Shrewsbury Magistrates were told today (20 February) that a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found both men had previously been Gas Safe registered but allowed their registration to lapse.

Peter Cavanagh’s registration lapsed a few years ago as he intended to focus on quotes and administration leaving his son to carry out the actual gas work. However, Shane Cavanagh’s registration lapsed in March 2011 and Peter Cavanagh carried on doing gas work.

Peter Cavanagh was contacted by HSE in November 2011 after being informed by Gas Safe Register that he was carrying out gas work. He signed a form from HSE saying he would not carry out gas work again while unregistered, although he had already taken on the work at the property in Market Drayton.

In March 2012, Peter Cavanagh was issued with a Prohibition Notice by HSE banning him from carrying out gas work until he was both competent to do so and registered with Gas Safe Register. A similar Prohibition Notice was issued to his son in July 2012.

Peter Cavanagh has since retaken his qualifications and re-registered with Gas Safe in September 2012.

Peter Cavanagh pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Shrewsbury Magistrates gave him an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for two years, alongside 240 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay costs of £5,547.

Shane Cavanagh pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The court imposed an 18-month community order, in which Mr Cavanagh must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £2,552 costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector Janice Dale said:

“Anyone who carries out work on boilers, hobs, ovens, fires or any other gas appliances without being on the Gas Safe Register is breaking the law. Peter Cavanagh carried out work in domestic premises knowing his registration had lapsed and despite giving HSE assurances that he would stop such work.

“Shane Cavanagh signed the Certificate stating that the installation was safe, although he was not legally entitled to do so, and a gas leak was found shortly afterwards. Both men were putting tenants and home-owners at risk.”