What could you do with 20 pence?

A gas engineer has been slapped with a fine after he was discovered attempting to repair a boiler with a 20 pence piece.

Reckless Mark Sampson, 42, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for a safety breach following an investigation into his actions. Exeter Magistrates' Court heard that Sampson, an engineer listed on the official 'gas safe' register, was instructed by his company to service a boiler at a residential property. Sampson used several parts on the boiler which were not needed before using a 20 pence coin to fix a viewing glass. The worker was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £353 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

20p PieceSpeaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Jones said: "Using a 20 pence piece in this way is totally unacceptable and meant the boiler was classed as 'immediately dangerous' posing a risk of fire and carbon monoxide gas leaking from the boiler.

"There were signs of heat damage inside and outside the boiler before Mark Sampson carried out this 'repair', so he should have been alerted to the risk of fire."

Sampson, from Bridgwater, Somerset, was sent to the home on March 19 to carry out the routine service.
He told the home owners that they would need some extra parts which he needed to order, before he left the property. The energy supplier became suspicious so instructed an addition gas engineer, from a separate company, to visit the home to check if the parts were really needed. The engineer found that the additional parts were not needed and that work done on the boiler had left it unsafe.

Mr Jones added: "Mark Sampson was gas safe registered, which makes it even more shocking that he failed to carry out this work to the correct standard thereby putting the homeowners and any visitors to the property at risk."



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