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December 10, 2009

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Miscellaneous- Take care not to compromise gas works

The Gas Safe Register has warned tradesmen to be careful they do not weaken the integrity and safety of gas installations.

Recent research by the body – which replaced the CORGI gas register in April 2009 – has estimated that 250,000 illegal gas jobs are being carried out in Great Britain every year. But it is also concerned by cases where previously safe installations are compromised by other trades – some of whom may not even have considered the impact of their work.

Under regulation 8 of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998, those working in trades other than gas also have a legal duty not to compromise the safety of gas installations in the course of their work.

Jamie Cooper, technical support manager for Gas Safe Register, said: “We all recognise that health and safety should always come first as part of any building project. But where gas installations are concerned, like gas engineers, all trades have a legal duty to make sure that the work carried out doesn’t make an installation unsafe.

“For example, roofers must check that they are not adversely affecting a flue system; kitchen-fitters must take care not to build a cupboard too close to a cooker; and double-glazing fitters must not block essential ventilation when putting up new windows. It is also essential that any gas work undertaken on a building project is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.”

On this issue, there is no ‘one size fits all’ guidance with regard to ultimate legal responsibility. However, the Register is reminding tradesmen that the Health & Safety at Work, etc. Act is the ‘umbrella’ legislation in this context, and any work carried out must meet its requirements.

Safety advice from the Gas Safe Register technical team is available by calling 0800 408 5500.

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