Worker pleads guilty to breaching gas safety laws

A Manchester-based worker who falsely advertised that he was on the Gas Safe Register has been given a one-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to breaching gas safety laws.

Christopher Dignam advertised his services under Blue Flame Plumbing and Heating in two Manchester publications that he was on the Gas Safe Register, using the official logo and a stolen registration number. Mr Dignam then was contracted to fit two central heating boilers at properties in Greater Manchester. However, one of the boilers was found by a Gas Safe investigator to be ‘at risk’ of causing serious injury, death, and significant property damage.

All members of the public and businesses should only employ registered gas fitters, and they should carry out checks to make sure the registration details are correct. They should also insist that any contractors possess an up-to-date professional indemnity insurance policy to ensure that they are covered for any cases of injury, death or property damage in the event of an accident.

Mr Dignam pleaded guilty to two breaches of Regulations 3(3), and for breaching 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations of 1998. The unregistered gas worker was subsequently given a one-year prison sentence, which has been suspended for two years, told to pay compensation to the tune of £860 and £3,000 in court costs.

After the case was over, Caroline Shorrock, an investigator with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), said: “[Mr] Dignam showed a reckless and flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements. He knew he should be registered with Gas Safe, and he exposed customers to a risk of serious injury or death.”