Illegal gas fitter carries out work at over 1000 addresses
For two years, residents across North London unwittingly had gas appliances worked on by Errol Dillon, an unregistered contractor working for Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited. Dillon worked at over 1000 addresses without being Gas Safe Registered.
However, it wasn’t always that way for Mr Dillon. He had previously worked for Whirlpool and was Gas Safe Registered at the time. After leaving the company he let his registration lapse. Though you can guess at the reasons why, it should have been clear to Errol Dillon that this meant he could no longer work on gas appliances. On his return to Whirlpool, he actively lied about his registration, giving the company as false Gas Safe Registration number. Whirlpool failed to check his credentials (but more about their punishment later).
An investigation by both HSE and Gas Safe Register uncovered the deception, with both Errol Dillon and Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited ending up in court.
Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited of Morley Way, Peterborough, PE2 9JB pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 25th May 2017, to breaching regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, receiving a fine of £90,000 along with costs of £9,358.22.
Errol Dillon of Grenville Gardens, Woodford Green, Essex pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 25th May 2017, to breaching regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced at an earlier hearing to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 50 hours unpaid work requirement and ordered to pay costs of £2000.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector James Caren said: “Whirlpool failed to check the Gas Safe Register credentials of Mr Dillon and as a result allowed him to conduct unregistered work on more than 1,000 homes across London.
“Mr Dillon should have taken into account that being Gas Safe Registered is not an option when carrying out gas work; it is mandatory.”
The message here is clear: Even if you know someone - and have done for years - you should still double-check his or her professional credentials. The Gas Safe website allows you to type in a registration number to verify that number is correct. It takes just moments and can save you everything in the long run. Find the Gas Safe verification tool here: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/
Additionally the CIPHE website has a verification tool to check CIPHE members credentials. Simply type in his or her membership number and you can be sure you know whom you are employing in a matter of seconds. It really is worth the reassurance. Find the CIPHE verification tool here: http://www.ciphe.org.uk/consumer/verify-member/
You can find out more about the case via the HSE website