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Illegal gas work causes serious explosion

Posted in: Personal Injury Public Liability 

Daniel George Hickling, 39, from Howsham, Lincolnshire, has been prosecuted with an 11-month prison sentence suspended for two years, 300 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £2,000 after carrying out illegal gas work in a Nettleton home. 

Trading as DGH Plumbing and Heating, Mr Hickling was hired to reduce the height of two redundant gas pipes in an old kitchen as plans were in place for the room to be converted into a living room. After leaving the property, Mr Hickling had failed to switch the gas supply back on – encouraging the unnamed house owners to reset the value themselves. Shortly after, the couple realised that the house was beginning to smell of gas. However, when looking for the leak, it ignited causing a serious explosion in their Moortown Road property.  

The male homeowner suffered from severe burns to his hands, arms and scalp – causing him to have a skin graft on his hands from which he is still recovering; and his wife has been left with serious burns to her lower legs and feet.  

HSE inspector David Butter said: “Anybody who carries out work on gas pipes or appliances without being on the Gas Safe Register is breaking the law. Daniel Hickling endangered the lives of this couple as soon as he began work. They are extremely lucky to have survived.”

Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, added: “Our message is a simple one: Only use a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix or service your gas appliances or to do any gas work.”

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