Plumber Jailed for Falsifying Gas Safety Tests

British tradesman sentenced to 18 months after pretending to be a legitimate engineer.
Plumber Jailed for Falsifying Gas Safety Tests
Photo courtesy The Gazette

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A British plumber was jailed for illegally issuing gas safety test certificates while posing as a qualified engineer.

According to The Gazette, Neil McKimm, 43, was convicted after a Health and Safety Executive investigation into work performed on three occasions in northeast England. HSE said McKimm repeatedly pretended to be a legitimate Gas Safe engineer and falsely signed official records in the name of a legitimate gas engineer between April and June 2014.

McKimm, from Darlington, operated as Mac’s Plumbing Services and under the alias of Robert Welsh to service boilers and issue safety certificates, according to HSE, Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.

HSE attempts to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

“Gas work must be carried out by properly registered Gas Safe engineers, and HSE will robustly pursue those that break the law,” said HSE inspector Paul Wilson after the hearing.

“This was the deliberate concealment of illegal activities,” said prosecutor Lee Fish. “Culpability was very high because it could not be described as a mistake. However, there was no evidence any harm was caused.”

Judge James Brown said McKimm’s work could have resulted in death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“It requires months if not a year of training, and the consequences of doing it badly are serious if not fatal,” Brown said.

“You undertook work for which you are not qualified and it is good fortune more than anything that misfortune did not occur.”

McKimm was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; Regulations 3(3) and 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and sentenced in May to 18 months in prison.

“I have to consider guidelines and I take the view that the Crown accurately summarized where this offense falls within the guidelines,” Brown said. “It is my view that culpability is high. You did the work knowing that you were not qualified to do it. The potential harm could have been very significant.

“I take the view that these are very serious matters and the message must be sent out that people who are doing that work must be properly qualified, and if they are not the consequences are serious.”



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