A gas leak from a freshly installed range in a North Devon residential care facility has resulted in a fine for a fitter.
According to the evidence presented before Exeter Crown Court, Mark Whitham installed a new gas range cooker on December 24, 2020, after damaging the current gas range cooker while putting out a new kitchen. After experiencing problems with the stove’s operation over the next 24 hours, workers at the care facility contacted their regular Gas Safe, a registered engineer. When he looked into the gas supply connection to the cooker, he saw a large amount of gas leaking.
Mr. Whitham was not registered on the Gas Safe Register, according to an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). There were numerous references to proper installation by a trained engineer and compliance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Usage) Regulations 1998 in the installation papers that were provided with the appliance when it was purchased, but none of these requirements was observed during the installation.
To comply with Regulation 3(1) and 22(1)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use Regulations 1998), Mark Whitham, of Fallow Fields, Barnstaple, Devon, pled guilty. For each offense, he received a six-month sentence with a 12-month suspension. He was also sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid community service and £2,000 in fees.
“Mark Whitham carries out gas work, which he knew he wasn’t registered to do,” HSE inspector Simon Jones said following the hearing. Mark Whitham’s unlicensed gas work put the lives of vulnerable people in danger due to fire and explosion in this instance.
“Gas Safe, licensed engineers must do all gas work to ensure that the highest safety requirements are maintained to prevent injury and death.”