• Robert Spicer

Exeter plumber fined for dangerous gas work

Dangerous gas work: plumber sentenced

Health and Safety Executive v Colin Jones (2016) Exeter magistrates’ court, February 17

Colin Jones, a plumber, has been sentenced for carrying out dangerous gas work.

Significant points of the case

  • Colin Jones moved a gas meter at a house in Exeter as part of refurbishment work. He then connected a new gas boiler to the meter. The householders smelt gas and notified the utility supplier.

  • The supplier found two gas leaks, one on the gas meter supply pipe and one on the gas pipe from the meter to the boiler. The situation was classed as immediately dangerous because there was a real risk of an explosion.

Jones was sentenced to 32 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, and fined £2000 for breaches of regulations 3 and 26 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that Jones had put his customers’ lies at risk by carrying out work on gas pipes and a gas meter which he was not legally entitled to do. It was only by sheer good fortune that the escaping gas did not ignite.

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