Maintenance man prosecuted for illegal gas work

A 70 year-old self-employed maintenance worker has been fined for carrying out illegal gas work at a café and restaurant in St Austell, exposing customers and workers to the risk of injury.

Alistair “Nick” Clyne, trading as Clyne Catering, who carried out servicing and repair work on commercial catering equipment, was prosecuted at Bodmin Magistrates Court today (24 July) for carrying out illegal gas work on appliances.

The court heard that Mr Clyne was not registered as qualified with Gas Safe and had been warned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in September 2012 not to undertake any gas work while unregistered.

HSE found that Mr Clyne carried out the work at Pit Stop Snacks in St Austell, repairing an LPG deep fat fryer and water boiler. He also carried out gas work at Simply Jude’s restaurant in Pentewan, converting gas appliances to LPG and installing new gas pipework and gas appliances.

Mr Clyne’s illegal work came to light when the restaurant owner became concerned about the poor workmanship and called in a gas catering company to check the work. Work that he undertook at one restaurant was classed as ‘as risk’ when inspected, meaning there was a danger to life or property.

Alistair Nicholas Clyne, of Gwindra Industrial Estate, St Stephen, St Austell, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 between June 2012 and February 2013. He was fined £375 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000. He was also ordered to pay the restaurant owner £800 in compensation.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said:

“Mr Clyne chose to ignore a previous warning from HSE and displayed a blatant disregard for the safety of the public, and workers and customers at the restaurants.

“Gas work should only be undertaken by a suitably qualified and competent Gas Safe registered engineer. In this case, Mr Clyne undertook commercial catering gas work which posed a real danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, fire and/or explosion.

Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register said:

“A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by fitters who don’t have the skills or the qualifications to work safely on gas. It’s therefore vital the public always make sure the person working on their gas appliances is on the Gas Safe Register.

“You can check your engineer is legal and safe by asking to see their Gas Safe ID card. You can also check the engineer’s registration number by calling us on 0800 408 5500, or visiting the website link to external website.”

Further information on gas safety can be found on the HSE website