Plumbing and heating contractor fined for carrying out illegal gas work

An unregistered plumbing and heating contractor has been fined for carrying out illegal gas work that put a number of homes at risk.

Truro Crown Court heard that, from January 2017 to October 2018, Darren Masters, trading as D Masters Plumbing and Heating Limited, carried out gas work at four homes in Newquay, Cornwall, despite not being registered as a Gas Safe engineer.

Registration with Gas Safe Register ensures engineers are qualified for the work they intend to carry out, ensuring that gas work is carried out to an appropriate standard and the public are not put at risk of serious harm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Masters falsely asserted he was Gas Safe Registered in the course of dealing with customers, including signing off documentation with false Gas Safe registered engineer numbers. The investigation concluded Mr Masters also misrepresented himself as sufficiently competent to carry out the services.

Darren Masters of Hannaford Close, St Columb Major, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(1), 3(3), 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and consequently Section 33 (1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Masters was sentenced to 22 and a half months in prison, suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £11,902.00 in compensation and full costs of £9,068.50.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Mannell said: “Darren Masters was in control of gas work despite not being Gas Safe registered. Shockingly, he misled residents about his credentials.

“All gas work must be done by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Further information about gas safety can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/

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Carlisle company fined after customer fatally crushed

A Carlisle auto-salvage company was fined after a customer was trapped and fatally crushed when a lift truck he had purchased was being loaded onto his own recovery vehicle.

 

Carlisle Crown Court heard that on 15 February 2018, a lift truck purchased from Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd was lifted using the company’s skip lorry onto a recovery vehicle at Stainton Road, Etterby. The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap Mr Paul Spence against the skip lorry.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure that this complex lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and that it had failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk.  A competent person would have identified that this loading method with this equipment was fundamentally unsafe.

 

The Company Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd of Stainton Rd, Etterby, Carlisle pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

 

Sandra Spence, Mr Spence’s widow said:

“Paul was taken too early, in a tragic way, and didn’t deserve his life to end this way. There is a big empty hole in my heart, he was a very loving husband and father. Paul always had a smile on his face and lived for his family.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley commented:

“This incident could so easily have been avoided should the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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College fined for asbestos failings

Newnham College has been fined for failings that exposed employees and subcontractors to asbestos during refurbishment of a flat owned by the college.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard that in March 2018, employees of Newnham College and subcontractors were carrying out a refurbishment of a flat on Grange Road, Cambridge when asbestos insulation debris was discovered in the floor voids after work had been carried out in them. No asbestos refurbishment survey was carried out prior to insulation debris being found. One employee, who contaminated his gloves and clothing with loose asbestos debris, did not have asbestos awareness training and spread asbestos from his clothing outside the flat.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was inadequate planning and management of the refurbishment work of a flat on Grange Road, Cambridge when asbestos insulation debris was discovered in the floor voids after work had been carried out in them.

Newnham College of Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,450.28.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sandra Dias said: “Asbestos surveys need to be carried out prior to refurbishment works which disturbs the fabric of a building. Asbestos is still present in hidden locations in buildings and needs to be located before work starts that could potentially expose individuals.

“Asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 5,000 people per year in the UK.”

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Further information on asbestos can be found at: https://ift.tt/1q7GRb9

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Improving circular economy practices in the construction sector key to increasing material reuse, high quality recycling

Construction and demolition waste makes up just over one third of total waste generation in the EU. Despite relatively high recovery rates of used materials, Europe’s construction sector will need to be even more ambitious in its waste management practices if it is to fully embrace Europe’s circular economy. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today, circular approaches are key to increasing the quality and quantity of recycling and reuse of construction and demolition materials.

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Meet ‘Taylor’: A nose for sniffing out koalas

Conservation detection dogs are being trained to search for injured koalas caught in the middle of Australia’s bushfires. It’s hoped that training more dogs like Taylor could help with moving wildlife to safer ground. Libby Hogan reports.

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