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Gas safety

If gas appliances, such as ovens, cookers and boilers, are not properly installed and maintained, there is a danger of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Employers need to comply with the relevant regulations to help ensure worker and public safety. You can do this by following our advice on maintaining and servicing gas appliances, by using a Gas Safe registered engineer or a competent person.

Case study one

The importance of being Gas Safe registered

A plumber who was not Gas Safe registered, and had previously been served with a prohibition notice by HSE, persisted in carrying out illegal gas work in a shop. He was caught on CCTV doing so, was prosecuted for two breaches of health and safety law and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of six months in prison.

How cases like this can be avoided

Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. Only competent engineers should attempt it. If unregistered workers try to bypass the law, they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine or even imprisonment, they are also putting their customers' lives at risk.

Who is competent to work on gas fittings?

Domestic properties, schools etc

In domestic properties and workplaces such as shops, restaurants, schools and hospitals, this must be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register who is qualified to work on gas appliances.

It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on any domestic gas appliance. You can check this by contacting the

Gas Safe Register online or by calling them on 0800 408 5500.

All those who are registered carry a Gas Safe ID card, which shows the type of work they are qualified to do and whether their qualifications are up to date.

Factories, mines etc

In factories, mines, quarries, agricultural premises, construction site huts and sewage works, work on gas fittings must be carried out by a competent person It is your responsibility to check that they are competent. If the engineer is on the Gas Safe Register, with the qualifications to do the work required, then they will be a competent person.

Work in any parts of these premises used as domestic, residential or sleeping accommodation must be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register.

What do I have to do?

The basics

Gas

Appliances and pipework

Industrial and commercial plant

Explosions can be caused by the ignition of unburnt gas.

Case study two

Maintaining gas systems

Twenty-five pupils and two members of teaching staff were evacuated from a classroom in a primary school when they were overcome by dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

The investigation found that carbon monoxide was being produced by an inadequately maintained boiler and was leaking into the classroom above. The employer was fined a total of £10 000 and ordered to pay costs of £6830.

The employer did have a maintenance system but poor practices had crept in, which they did not identify until after the incident. The consequences could have been much more serious.

How such incidents can be avoided

It’s important that employers make sure their gas appliances are maintained in a safe condition by a competent person and in line with manufacturers’ instructions and appropriate standards.

Find out more

The law

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

The general duties of the Act cover work on gas fittings in factories, mines, quarries, agricultural premises, construction site huts, sewage works and gas-fitting testing premises.

In these premises, work on gas fittings must be carried out by a competent person. If any part of these premises are used as domestic, residential or sleeping accommodation, work on gas fittings must be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

These Regulations cover work on gas fittings, both natural and LPG in other premises, eg domestic properties, shops, restaurants, schools and hospitals. In these premises the work on gas fittings must be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register.

Updated 2013-01-03