Unregistered fitter carried out work he was not qualified to do

A gas installation contractor has been fined £500 and must pay additional costs of £1,500 after an elderly couple were poisoned by carbon monoxide in their home as a result of illegal fitting work he carried out.

Dermot Healy, trading as D Healy Plumbing and Heating, was fined by the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) for not being registered while carrying out gas work and for not holding the appropriate competence certificates.

The elderly couple were at home in Edgware, Harrow, in 2007 when the wife fell unconscious on the sofa. Her husband also suffered dizziness and nausea before partially collapsing.

The couple managed to alert a relative who called an ambulance which took them to Barnet General Hospital where they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Two weeks earlier, Healy had come to service their boiler but had not picked up on the fact that it was insufficiently ventilated.

Healy had held a CORGI registration from February 2001, but did not renew it when it expired in March 2005 and had never received refresher training or held the required competence certificate to carry out this sort of work.

HSE inspector, Charles Linfoot, said: “The couple in this instance were lucky, but the outcome could so easily have been a tragic one.”