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Gas Safety Prosecutions – Why are Companies Fined?

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Jul 20, 2015 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety

finesArinite has been researching criminal prosecutions under health and safety legislation. We have produced an infographic which summarises our findings and which you can view here.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was listed first as the key piece of legislation under which the vast majority of prosecutions were made. However we were surprised to find that Gas safety Legislation, in particular the Gas Safety (installation and Use) Regulations 1998, was listed second. We would have expected legislation that reflects the common causes of injury at work, such as the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, to figure higher. The prosecutions were broken down as follows:

Dutyholder type Total prosecuted (%)
Unregistered fitter 61%
Registered engineer 12%
Landlord 15%
Building/Double Glazing/insulation etc, company (i.e. breaches of GSIUR reg. 8) 9%
Other 3%

What is the Implication for Health and Safety Management?

We were amazed to discover that almost two thirds of prosecutions were due to unregistered fitters, which raises the question: when companies appoint tradesmen to undertake works, how stringent are their vetting procedures?

In addition, it seems that sometimes even registered engineers cannot be trusted. If 73% of prosecutions were due to unregistered fitters and registered engineers, it follows that organisations who employ such contractors may not have adequate arrangements to check that they were competent to do gas installation work.

Organisations who employ unregistered contractors may also be liable to prosecution, particularly if there is related harm to employees, customers, visitors or others who may be affected by the actions of contractors.

Key Gas Safety Management Advice

Do you want to expose your organisation to the risk of gas safety prosecution in relation to employing contractors? Plus, do you want establish a robust health and safety management system that protects your reputation and gives you a business advantage?

The Key steps that organisations should put in place include:

  • Step 1 Planning – Define the job, identify the hazards, assess the risks, eliminate or reduce the risks, specify conditions and discuss with contractor.
  • Step 2 Choosing a Contractor – What competence is needed? Ask questions, get evidence, go through information about the job, ask for method statement and decide whether subcontracting acceptable.
  • Step 3 – Contractors Working on Site – All contractors sign in and out, name a site contract, reinforce site rules, check the job and allow work to begin.
  • Step 4 – Keeping a Check – Assess degree of contact needed, how is the job going? as planned? contractor working safely? incidents? Changes in personnel? any changes needed?
  • Step 5 – reviewing the Work – Review job and contractor, was planning effective?, how did the job go? Record lessons.

How Arinite can help

If you want to know more about health and safety management or you would just like an independent view on how your organisation is managing health and safety risks then contact us.

Contact us

Arinite clients appreciate we provide practical, no-nonsense advice about what you need to do to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. My team of health and safety consultants take pride in keeping health and safety simple.

If you need to call upon our expert assistance, or just for an informal chat, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at b.richards@arinite.com.

Bryan Richards 16th July 2015

Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT

 
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