Performing work illegally doesn't pay.

Allowing someone who is unregistered to perform gas work can have extremely dire consequences, and in this case, a culprit claiming to be a registered gas fitter was caught before anyone was injured.

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) was called to investigate the work of Steven Nurse after those who had contracted him to perform work complained about the shoddy workmanship. The HSE found that Nurse had been claiming to be a fully certified gas engineer with Corgo, using fraudulent details of a fully licensed engineer.

The investigation found that Nurse had installed two boilers, signed off work on another two and had serviced several other boilers without being qualified to do so. He was particularly found to have installed a gas boiler with undersized pipework and also managed to not seal a boiler flue correctly, leading to the potential leak of hazardous gas fumes in a property in Brixham.

As a result of the findings Nurse appeared in court, pleading guilty to breaching 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was as a result given a two month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He also pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 3(3) and 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. For this offense he was fined £2000, £500 in costs and ordered to pay £1000 compensation to affected property owners.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, said:

"Nurse’s shoddy work on the boiler could have killed someone.

"This incident shows how important it is for gas fitters to become properly trained and registered gas engineers.

"All gas engineers must be members of the Gas Safe Register by law so customers can be sure they are dealing with someone who is properly trained and qualified to do the job.

"Unregistered installers who carry out gas work could expose people to unacceptable risks that can prove fatal. Any business or sole trader who carries out work on any gas appliance without being properly trained and registered is breaking the law and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute."

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

"Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries an ID card which not only proves who they are but also gives details of the kind of work they are qualified to carry out. We always encourage the public to ask to see an engineer’s ID card and to call us on 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk link to external website to check the details. A registered engineer will never mind being asked and it helps us all to make life more difficult for the illegal gas fitters."