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Plumber fined for not cooperating with HSE

Luke Rodgers was suspected of having undertaken dangerous gas work while unqualified to do so. Under questioning, he was less than forthcoming, so was fined for failing to cooperate rather than breaching Gas Safe regulations.

In February 2020 Rodgers was alleged to have carried out illegal gas work to replace a boiler at a house in Tingley, Wakefield. The new boiler was left in such a dangerous condition that a Gas Safe registered engineer who attended the house had to make it safe by disconnecting it from the gas supply.

During an HSE interview under caution, Rodgers claimed to have only been hired to do the installation work up to the point where it would then be connected to the gas supply. He claimed that he had arranged for a friend who was qualified to complete all the gas work. He also claimed that another friend had assisted him with general laboring at the property. But he refused to provide the identity of either of these people, which is an offense as it prevented the inspector from following reasonable lines of inquiry as part of the investigation.

At Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court this week, the plumber pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(e) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £583 and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs.

HSE inspector David Beaton said after the hearing: “The defendant blatantly failed to comply with a requirement under the Health and Safety at Work (etc) Act 1974. This prosecution would not have happened had the defendant provided the information. Hopefully, this will send a warning to others that failing to comply with Her Majesty’s Inspectors while they exercise their lawful powers will not be condoned by the HSE.”

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