70-year-old prosecuted for illegal cafe gas work | St Austell Cornwall

A 70-year-old self-employed catering equipment maintenance worker has been fined for carrying out illegal gas work at a cafe and restaurant in Cornwall.

Alistair ‘Nick’ Clyne, trading as Clyne Catering, who carried out servicing and repair work on commercial catering equipment, was prosecuted at Bodmin Magistrates Court yesterday for carrying out illegal gas work on appliances.

The court heard that Clyne was not registered as qualified with Gas Safe and had been warned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last year not to undertake any gas work while unregistered.

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HSE found that Clyne carried out the work at Pit Stop Snacks in St Austell, repairing an LPG deep fat fryer and water boiler. He also carried out gas work at Simply Jude’s restaurant in Pentewan, converting gas appliances to LPG and installing new gas pipework and gas appliances.

Clyne’s illegal work came to light when the restaurant owner became concerned about the poor workmanship and called in a gas catering company to check the work.

Work that he undertook at one restaurant was classed as ‘as risk’ when inspected, meaning there was a danger to life or property.

Clyne pleaded guilty to the breaching gas safety regulations and was fined £375 plus costs of £1,000. He was also ordered to pay the restaurant owner £800 in compensation.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said Clyne had showed a “blatant disregard” for public safety by choosing to ignore a previous warning from HSE just three months after it was given.

“Gas work should only be undertaken by a suitably qualified and competent Gas Safe registered engineer. In this case, Mr Clyne undertook commercial catering gas work which posed a real danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, fire and/or explosion.”

Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, commented: “A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by fitters who don’t have the skills or the qualifications to work safely on gas. It’s therefore vital the public always make sure the person working on their gas appliances is on the Gas Safe Register.”

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