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Unregistered installer given suspended sentence

Earlier last week Christopher Dignam, trading as Blue Flame Plumbing and Heating Services, received a 2-year suspended prison sentence and was ordered to pay £860 in compensation and £3,000 costs after illegally installing boilers at two houses in Greater Manchester in 2014.

Mr Dignam was not Gas Safe Registered and did not possess the skills to safely fit the boilers – one of which was found to be ‘at risk’ through the investigation.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Caroline Shorrock said: “Dignam showed a reckless and flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements. He knew he should be registered with Gas Safe and he exposed customers to a risk of serious injury or death.”

Despite never being on the Gas Safe Register, Dignam had been using the Gas Safe logo on local ads along with a registration number belonging to another engineer. To the general public he looked like a bona fide tradesperson. This is why it is always imperative to double check any professional registrations that your tradesperson claims to have.

Trade bodies and professional organisations will always be happy to verify a member. Many, like the CIPHE and Gas Safe also have online tools to help you do this:

You can verify a Gas Safe registration number or ID card via: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/#checkanengineer

And you can verify a CIPHE member via: http://www.ciphe.org.uk/consumer/verify-member/

Mr Dignam pleaded guilty to two breaches of Regulations 3(3), and for breaching 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Find out more about this story at http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/suspended-prison-sentence-for-unregistered-gas-worker/