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Waikanae gasfitter found guilty of Nelson offences

Media release
4 August 2011

Waikanae gasfitter found guilty of Nelson offences

A Waikanae gasfitter has been fined $1,800 and ordered to pay $8,780 in costs after being found guilty of causing a significant health and safety risk to the public.

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board has found that John Darnley breached the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act (1976) when he carried out gasfitting work on four properties in the Nelson area between 2003-2005.

The inquiry concluded Mr Darnley failed to seal holes where gas pipework passed through a box into an external wall cavity at a home in Dodson Valley Road, Atawhai.

In the Board’s view, this created a risk escaping gas could pass into the wall cavity or into the house where it might concentrate to form a flammable mixture and explode if ignited.

Mr Darnley also failed to install support or secure a cooker to prevent stressing of the attached pipework at a property in Ranzou Road, Nelson.

He incorrectly installed pipework and failed to fit a restraint chain for a fryer at a restaurant at 44 High Street, Motueka.
The Board also found Mr Darnley failed to secure gas burners to a bench at a restaurant at 130 High Street, Motueka.

In its judgement, the Board said:

“Mr Darnley’s conduct demonstrated a serious level of incompetence because he carried out non-compliant gasfitting at four properties which raised significant safety issues.

“Mr Darnley’s conduct has caused a risk to public health and safety. It is a matter of luck that the non-compliance at these properties did not result in any serious harm to the public.”

The Board found Mr Darnley failed to appreciate the standard required of those in the gasfitting trade and had not accepted the serious safety risk.

“Mr Darnley’s conduct has caused a significant risk to public health and safety and the Board considers that a strong message must be sent to Mr Darnley, to the industry and to the public that such conduct cannot be tolerated from certifying gasfitters.”

Mr Darnley has also been ordered to undertake additional training prior to uplifting his next licence to carry out gasfitting work.


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