Be Safe – Always Use Gas Safe Registered Engineers – Unregistered Installer Fined

Be Safe – Always use Gas Safe Registered Engineers!

HVP reported this month that an unregistered installer has been fined and given a suspended prison sentence after illegally carrying out work on a number of boilers. Faults were found on one such boiler following work carried out by Philip Locke in 2013, despite not being Gas Safe registered, High Wycombe Crown Court heard on the 9th February.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) wrote to Mr Locke informing him of

Gas Safe Registered Engineers
Gas Safe Registered Engineers

his responsibility to be registered in order to work on boilers, but he failed to comply.

Mr Locke of Chalfont St Giles, High Wycombe, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for one year, fined £6,500 and ordered to pay costs of £6,280.

HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “Philip Locke showed disregard for the law when he continued to work on gas appliances without certification. This case highlights that plumbers must be competent and Gas Safe registered to work on gas appliances.”

In a separate case, a Preston landlord received a suspended prison sentence after failing to ensure gas safety checks were carried out on the gas appliances in one of her properties.

After failing to comply with an HSE Improvement Notice, Pritpall Kaur Singh pleaded guilty to breaching section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety

Personalised Landlord Homeowner Gas Safety Certificates
R M Labels Personalised Landlord Homeowner Gas Safety Certificates Only Sold to Gas Safe Registered Engineers!

at Work etc Act, 1974, and to one breach of Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (36 (3)).

She was sentenced to a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

HSE inspector Anthony Banks said: “If you rent property out, you must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations, including the need to have a gas safety certificate. Gas appliances should be regularly checked, as faulty appliances can kill.”

Tenants/Homeowners
  • Stay safe – always use a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Check – ask to see the engineer’s Gas Safe ID card*
  • Tenants – check your landlord has a Gas Safety Certificate for the property

*How to understand the Gas Safe ID Card

Find a Gas Safe Registered Engineer: Gas Safe Register

Gas Safe Registered Engineers/Installers
  • Are your Gas Safe details up-to-date? Licensed Gas Safe products can only be sold to Gas Safe registered engineers whose details line up with those held on the Gas Safe register – if you have moved premises or had a change of name – make sure you notify Gas Safe.

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BS 1710:2014 Specification for Identification of Pipelines and Services

All pipework containing water should be clearly marked to show where the water comes from and whether it is potable or non-potable, to avoid

R M Labels Full Colour Banding for Water Pipework
Full banding by R M Labels Limited for pipework containing water

contamination of drinking water. This is clearly described in the BS 1710:2014 specification for Identification of Pipelines and Services. Below is an extract from the BSI (British Standard Institution) website giving an overview of the revisions that came into effect in 2014:

BS 1710 specifies the colours and other information that should be used to identify pipes, ducts and electrical conduits.

As the last version of the standard was published in 1984, it is long out of date. There was a particular need to update the coding system for the water supply industry, where alternative water reuse systems are becoming more popular – and where alterations can lead to contaminated drinking water if the content of different pipes is not explicit.

BSI has now fully revised the standard. Among other things, the new version:

  • Refines the labelling system to aid identification
  • Simplifies identification in building and water systems
  • Introduces a new three-size methodology to accommodate the full range of fluid services
  • Removes ship systems, which are now covered in BS ISO 14726

BS 1710:2014 will support the legal requirement for those who install and use plumbing systems to prevent cross contamination.

More broadly the new standard will be of interest to building designers, operators, users and service installers, and a wide variety of associated industries and activities including waste, water, liquid fuels, gases, and refrigeration.

Pipe Markers to BS 1710 2014
Pipe Markers to BS 1710 2014 by R M Labels Limited

There are many products available for marking up pipework and the associated valves for both commercial and domestic properties, such as pipe identification tape, pipe banding, pipe markers and valve tags.

 

British Standards Institution: www.bsigroup.com

BSI: 1710:2014 Specification for Identification of Pipelines and Services

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Gas Certification Scheme Scrapped

Last month we told you about the new Gas Certification Scheme launched by Capita, the company behind the Gas Safe Register. However, this month it has  been reported in PHAM News that following widespread criticism from gas installers the scheme has been scrapped.

The UKAS gas safety certification scheme from Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS) was trumpeted as giving businesses a competitive edge, as well as saving on assessment costs and raising safety standards. In addition, it was claimed that the UKAS accreditation would provide assurance for organisations and employees against the risks of gas safety work.

Announcing the scheme, Matthew Hickman, MD at Capita Gas Compliance Services, said it would give businesses that go ‘above and beyond’ for gas safety work the recognition they deserve among their customer base and create potential new business opportunities. Assessments for businesses looking to achieve CGCS certification were to cover a number of areas, including quality control, supervision policies, service warranties and an on-site gas work assessment of employees and contractors.

In response to the launch, hundreds of Gas Safe registered installers voiced their opposition, concerned that it would confuse customers and create a two-tier system. Over 400 installers joined together to email Capita and express their displeasure. A few days later Capita replied with a short statement that thanked the installers for their feedback and said that the new service had been withdrawn.

Peter Booth (@PBplumber), who received over 500 retweets on his video that asked: ‘Am I not Gas Safe enough?’, commented “It’s great to see what a group of like-minded individuals can do when they get together for a common cause. We didn’t feel this scheme was needed and were vocal about the fact. It seems our voice was finally heard and they have scrapped this unwarranted scheme. Common sense has prevailed.”

Short Lived Gas Safety Scheme

PHAM News Editor, Chris Jones, went on to report:

Towards the end of its reign as the country’s gas registration body, CORGI received widespread criticism for being too commercially minded, upsetting not just installers, suspicious of any ‘money grabbing’ activities, but also other industry trade bodies and exhibition organisers who viewed the heavily promoted organisation as unfair competion. In comparison, Gas Safe, operated by multi-faceted group Capita, has received relatively good press. Restricting its endeavours to the registering, inspection and notification of gas installations, Capita has largely succeeded in avoiding controversy and the wrath of installers, apart from those few who thought they had wrongly been removed from the register. But that all changed in February with the announcement of the new gas certification scheme.

Credit to Capita for seemingly taking the criticism on board and wasting no time in withdrawing the scheme, but a lack of any formal statements and information about how such decisions were made does leave a number of questions unanswered. Not least is how the organisation plans to rebuild its now damaged relationship with the installer community.

At R M Labels, we have been following this story with interest and we will continue to post any further statements that are published.  We are keen supporters of Gas Safe Registered Installers and Heating Engineers. We supply many products licensed by the Gas Safe Register, such as gas certificates, gas warning labels and boiler service labels; we therefore strive to keep up-to-date with all legislation changes in the industry and to make sure that all the products we supply are to the current standards.

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Annual Boiler Servicing and Safety First

Do your homeowners have their boilers serviced annually?

When a heating engineer installs a new boiler, it is important to spend time with the homeowner explaining the terms and conditions of the warranty and stressing how important it is to register the product with the manufacturer.

Boilers require regular maintenance to maximise performance, reliability and safety, meaning it is important that homeowners look after their boilers right from the start, with regular servicing necessary to maintain the validity of the warranty.

Warranty terms usually stipulate only replacing parts with genuine spares and arranging an annual service, which must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Spending time explaining this to the customer is a great way to show the

Annual Boiler Service Label
Personalised Annual Boiler Service Label by R M Labels Limited

aftersales support your company can offer. Place a service label on the boiler so that your customer can see exactly when their boiler was installed and when the next service is due, this will mean they can clearly see your details and easily get in touch with your for their annual service.

Safety First

It’s important to explain to customers that the main reason for an annual service of their boiler is their safety. Consumer awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is still thought to be generally low and it is important that installers explain to their customers that unsafe gas appliances (appliances that have been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained) can produce this highly poisonous gas.  In the case of a leak, this can pose a serious risk.  Regular servicing of appliances is the best way to tackle this risk, ensuring the appliance will continue to perform as required and run efficiently all year round.  Furthermore, this will help reduce energy costs and the likelihood of breakdowns, saving money for the homeowner and keeping their family safe.

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Danger Do Not Use Safety Warning Labels for At Risk and Immediately Dangerous Situations

Every now and then we come across discussions regarding the interpretation of At Risk and Immediately Dangerous situations, so for our post this week we are referring to the information given by the Gas Safe Register, as detailed on the Help and Advice page of their website:

WARNING LABELS

A registered engineer’s left a warning label on your appliance – what does it mean?

When a registered engineer identifies an unsafe situation there’s a procedure they will look to follow: – the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP):

In the first instance, they’ll look to find the cause of the problem and rectify any faults;

If this is not possible, they will advise you that the fault(s) need to be repaired before the installation can be used again;

If the work cannot be corrected immediately, they’ll look to make the installation safe (after receiving your permission to do so), either by disconnecting it or turning off the gas to the affected part of the installation – this is dependent on the severity of the defects

 

Do Not Use Safety Warning Label

 

Warning Labels and Defect Categories

If a registered engineer has identified a gas related danger in your home, they’ll attach a Danger Do Not Use warning label to the dangerous gas fitting and provide you with a warning notice. The warning notice will show a ‘defect category.’ There are two types of defect category:

Immediately Dangerous (ID):

If an installation is classified as ‘immediately dangerous’ it is considered to be an immediate danger to life and property if left operating. The installation will be disconnected with your permission, and cannot be used until remedial work has been carried out to repair the defect(s). Continuing to use an immediately dangerous appliance could endanger lives.

Should you refuse them permission to disconnect the installation or appliance and the appliance runs on natural gas, the gas engineer will report the situation to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (ESP). The ESP has legal powers of entry to make the situation safe, and are also able to disconnect the gas supply to the property. However, this does not apply to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) installations.

At Risk (AR):

If an installation is classified as ‘At Risk’ there are one or more recognised faults present which could constitute a danger to life or property without further faults developing. The installation will be turned off with your permission, and should not be used again until the fault has been corrected. There are a limited

number of cases in which turning off the gas supply will not remove or reduce the risk. In such circumstances, you’ll be issued with a warning notice and advised on who to contact for further investigation.

 

Personalised Warning Advice Notice Certificates

 

Further information

You may be advised that the installation does not comply to current standards. While this is something to bear in mind, it’s up to you if you choose to act on it. It’s always a good idea to bring an installation up to date, but whether you’d like this done could depend on external factors such as cost or whether you’ll be looking to have the appliance replaced in the near future.

ESP Visits

If the Gas Emergency Service Provider has been out to your property as a result of an emergency visit (such as a smell of gas or fumes) and cannot confirm that an appliance is safe, they may also attach a ‘Danger Do Not Use’ warning label to the installation/appliance and issue you with an appropriate warning notice.

If the ESP has issued you with one of these notices, you’ll be advised not to use the appliance until an appropriately qualified Gas Safe registered engineer has checked it. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the installation is checked. The registered engineer should keep you (or your landlord where appropriate) informed of the actions they’re taking in the interests of your safety. If you have any concerns over this, you can contact the Gas Safe Register

Gas Safe Register: Help and Advice

At R M Labels we offer a full range of products for identifying gas appliances, where you will find the Danger Do Not Use Safety Warning Labels and Warning Advice Notice Certificates which comply to the current regulations and are licensed by the Gas Safe Register.

Link to website: R M Labels Limited

Related Publications:

Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure Explained

Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure