An unregister gas engineer has been found guilty and fined for breaking the law relating to registration of gas engineers. Mr Christopher Clark, 39, carried out gas maintenance and installation work in Cheltenham whilst he was unregistered between December 2010 and late February 2011 until his misdemeanour was discovered. During this time Mr Clark carried out professionally negligent work, including the faulty repair of a gas boiler.
Mr Clark was worked as a gas engineer in the time period but had failed to register himself as doing so, contrary to regulations 3(3) and 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Under these Regulations workers installing gas-related works and undertaking gas maintenance must be registered with the “Gas Safe Register”. This new register replaced the existing CORGI scheme in 2009. Mr Clark’s failure to register was discovered when he carried out works on a house in Cheltenham. He carried out maintenance on a boiler in a client’s house and said that he would return with the paperwork. However, the client then noticed a leak in the boiler and phoned Mr Clark to ask him to remedy the problem and provide the paperwork. Mr Clark did not answer nor return any calls so the client phone Gas Safe Register, who subsequently visited the property to check the work. It was then found that there was a leak at the boiler connection (which could have been extremely dangerous) and a registered engineer had to complete a repair job on the boiler.
HSE prosecuted Mr Clark for breach of the above Regulations. Mr Clark pleaded guilty and was fined £16,000 with £800 costs.
Potential contractual and personal injury claim
Should there have been a gas explosion at the properties that Mr Clark worked on there would have been a contractual claim and potentially a claim for personal injury, whether through negligence or breach of statutory duty. If the client’s property was damaged because of Mr Clark’s failure to exercise reasonable care and skill in his carrying out the contract then he would probably have been deemed to have breached the contract. Further, if the client or their family (or any other third party) had been injured in a gas explosion then there certainly would have been a claim for personal injury (negligence) against Mr Clark. He would have had a duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in carrying out his work (particularly as he was a professional) and it is not a stretch of the imagination to see that his efforts fell below this threshold.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a gas explosion (or has had property damaged by an explosion) because of the fault of another then you may be able to claim compensation for this.