Harpenden plumber fined over 'risky' boiler and hob

PUBLISHED: 12:25 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010

A SELF-employed plumber has been ordered to pay nearly £3,000 in fines and court costs after illegally carrying out work on gas fittings. Colin Harvey, who trades as Harvey s Heating or Harvey s of Harpenden, was not registered with Corgi to carry out suc

A SELF-employed plumber has been ordered to pay nearly £3,000 in fines and court costs after illegally carrying out work on gas fittings.

Colin Harvey, who trades as Harvey's Heating or Harvey's of Harpenden, was not registered with Corgi to carry out such work and was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Harvey, of Gilpin Green, Harpenden, admitted breaching gas safety regulations when he appeared at St Albans Magistrates Court on Monday.

He was fined £1,000, ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £1,895 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Harvey had carried out work on gas fittings - a gas hob, a condensing boiler and associated pipe work - at a property in Park Mount, Harpenden, between August and November 2007 when he was not Corgi registered.

A number of faults were discovered after the work was finished including a leak in the boiler and other problems with the heating.

An inspection carried out by a Corgi inspector revealed the installations were "at risk", could not be used and required immediate remedial action.

HSE inspector Nigel Fitzhugh said: "It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on a gas appliance.

"When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine, they are also putting their customers' lives at risk.

"Working with gas appliances is a difficult, specialised and potentially-dangerous job and only fully-qualified engineers should attempt it.

n HSE will be carrying out targeted inspections on construction sites in St Albans for a week from Monday.

Last year more than half of the British workers who died on construction sites worked in refurbishment, repair and maintenance. The HSE aims to inspect 1,500 sites across Great Britain throughout March.

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