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Serious gas incident reported to the Health and Safety Inspectorate

23 May 2022

The Health and Safety Inspectorate wishes to publicise the details of an incident investigated recently as an example of the serious risks to life that can result when unqualified people carry out gas work.

In April 2022 an engineer from Jersey Gas attended an unoccupied flat in a converted property to disconnect the meter from the gas supply.  On arrival, the engineer found that the meter had already been disconnected from the gas main by an unknown person and left nearby in the understairs cupboard.  The gas at the main had been turned off at the Emergency Control Valve (ECV) and the gas pipework left open as shown in the photographs below.

Fig 1: Disconnected gas meter and unsealed pipework

If the ECV had not made a perfect seal, or if the ECV had been knocked, gas at mains pressure would have filled the understairs cupboard with the very serious risk of a gas explosion and fire resulting from any one of the sources of ignition in the cupboard.  A competent and registered gas engineer would have sealed the gas pipework with an appropriate fitting and checked it was gas tight before leaving it unattended.

There are five separate flats within this property and the occupants of all these units and the neighbouring properties were put at risk by this illegal and dangerous work.  This incident illustrates why gas work should only be carried out by engineers registered with Gas Safe Register and in accordance with the Approved Code of Practice to comply with Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989.

Further Information:  

Safe work with gas systems and appliances, including Gas Safe Registration (ACoP 13)

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