Warning Follows Gas Installer's Jail Sentence

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a warning to the public to only allow qualified 'CORGI' registered gas installers to work on their appliances.

The call was made shortly after the inquest into the tragic death of a baby killed by scalding water from a faulty council boiler ruled that the death was 'avoidable'.

The infant received 95% burns when scalding water cascaded down on her cot when a water tank burst.

The jury at the inquest into the death of ten-month-old Rhianna Hardie at her council home in Taunton, Somerset, ruled she would not have died had the Government informed her landlords of a similar tragedy four years earlier.

Earlier, the jury heard that faults which led to the water tank exploding were reported to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, but there was a failure to pass the information on to local authorities across Britain.

The new advice just released, relates to the fact that every year about 25 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed or maintained.

The warning comes after David Mountford, from Longton, Stoke on Trent, was sentenced to six months in prison, on each of four charges, by Newcastle under Lyme Magistrates Court on Friday 11 January 2008. The sentences will run concurrently.

Prosecution followed an investigation into numerous incidents where Mr Mountford carried out work on gas appliances whilst he did not possess CORGI registration. He pleaded guilty to four charges of breaching HSE Prohibition Notices and two charges of falsely claiming CORGI registration.

The court heard that work was often carried out under different names, including David Mansfield, and using different company titles.

Speaking after the case, HSE investigating inspector Dr Janice Dale, said: "HSE has pursued a long investigation of Mr Mountford's activities and we are therefore pleased that the seriousness of his activities has been recognised in the sentence. Mountford admitted falsely pretending to be CORGI registered.

"As the court heard Mountford was prosecuted for similar gas work in 2005 and was the subject of a Prohibition Notice in 2004 preventing Mountford from carrying out gas work because he was not competent and was not competent and was not registered with CORGI.

"He chose to ignore this and continued to carry out work on gas appliances, putting the public at risk from both carbon monoxide poisoning and gas explosions. Had Mountford been registered with CORGI he would have been subjected to regular scrutiny and checks of his competence."

Dr Dale concluded: "This case should serve as a reminder to the general public that anyone they ask to undertake gas work must be CORGI registered. If the installer does not have their ID card, you should not let them into your property. You can also check an installer’s registration on the CORGI website. This case should also be a warning to traders that they must be registered with CORGI and only undertake work for which they are qualified and competent."

See: Scalded Baby Death 'Avoidable'


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