Crawley builder fined for gas safety breaches which put family at risk from ‘fire and explosion’

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A Crawley builder put a family at risk from ‘fire and explosion’ by carrying out illegal and faulty work on gas fittings.

Sunil Vadher and his brother, trading as SR Brothers, were hired to build an extension at a family’s home in Broadfield.

As part of the contract a new boiler and pipework for a gas cooker was installed.

The householders, who have three children, had several problems with the boiler and had it checked.

An inspection by Gas Safe Register, the professional body for registered gas engineers, found two defects classed as ‘immediate risk’, four ‘at risk’ and a further six that were found to be below current standards.

The findings were passed to the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) which today (Wednesday July 23) prosecuted Sunil Vadher for three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 committed between July 2013 and February 2014.

Crawley Magistrates’ Court heard the Gas Safe investigator had isolated the family’s gas supply as some of the work carried out left it too risky to use.

The HSE issued a prohibition notice on both the brothers preventing them from carrying out any gas work until they were competent and Gas Safe-registered.

The HSE told the court that although SR Brothers was a partnership, Sunil Vadher was effectively in charge.

Sunil Vadher of Marion Road, Furnace Green, Crawley, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £870 in costs after admitting the four offences.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Green said: “Despite knowing that gas work can only be carried out by Gas Safe-registered engineers, Sunil Vadher chose to undertake the work himself to save money. In doing so, he exposed a couple and their three children - and anyone else in the immediate area - to a risk of fire and explosion.

“The family was also exposed to risks of asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Sunil Vadher compounded the deception by providing the family with a boiler commissioning checklist, fraudulently using the details of a Gas Safe-registered installer, to intentionally mislead them into believing the work had been professionally signed-off.”