Icon indicating illegal gas work

How to report illegal gas work

Why is it important to report illegal gas work if you suspect it? And what does Gas Safe Register do with the information? This article appears in the July-August 2024 issue of Registered Gas Engineer magazine.

What is illegal gas work?
Illegal gas work comes in a number of different guises. It may be work undertaken by someone who is not registered, by an engineer who does not hold the correct ACS qualifications, or by an engineer working outside of the business with which they are registered (known as moonlighting). 

Gas Safe Register has a dedicated team who actively investigate illegal – and often unsafe – gas work. The Investigations team consists of a national investigations manager, a national investigations coordinator and seven regional investigations officers (RIOs). The team’s coordinator relies on information received from consumers, registered gas engineers, Trading Standards and environmental health officers. 

If you find work that you think may have been carried out illegally, you can report it  by filling in the “Report Illegal Gas Workers” form that’s in the engineers’ section of the Gas Safe Register website, by calling 0800 408 5500 or by email at: enquiries@gassaferegister.co.uk

If you prefer to submit the form anonymously, you can do so. But if you are happy to provide your own details, Gas Safe Register may contact you for more information. Where possible, the information needed to help with investigations includes:
• The unregistered engineer’s name and/or business name
• Contact details for the unregistered engineer
• Address(es) of where the gas work has taken place
• The customer’s name and contact details.

You may have only limited information but please do report unregistered work even if the information is minimal. 

What Gas Safe Register does
The Register aims to contact the homeowner or occupier, where possible, to offer a free safety inspection. On site, a regional investigations officer will undertake gas safety checks on the appliances concerned and any associated pipework, making safe where necessary. They will also ask the customer questions about the work that was carried out. 

Following the inspection, Gas Safe Register sends a detailed report to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which is the enforcement body for unregistered gas work. As the enforcers of gas safety legislation, HSE will decide on the action to take against the unregistered person(s). 

Gas Safe Register supports HSE enforcement as required, for example, providing witness statements and attending court where applicable. If appropriate, Gas Safe may also inform other enforcement agencies such as Trading Standards.

The actions that HSE may take under its enforcement policy include:
• A warning letter: this is the first stage of enforcement
• A Prohibition Notice: this orders the worker to stop working on gas immediately
• Prosecution: this may result in a fine and/or prison.

When the Register receives allegations of a registered business working out of scope of their ACS qualifications or employing unregistered engineers to carry out gas work, a member of the team will contact the business to discuss this. Competency concerns are investigated in line with our internal policies.

We know that you want to know the outcome of any investigation that results from work you have reported, but the Register cannot let you know about any follow-up action taken unless you are the owner or occupier of the site address concerned. 

We appreciate your continued support when it comes to reporting illegal gas work. If you have any questions or concerns relating to unregistered work, please contact the Register.

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