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DCSDC announces joint awareness initiative on gas safety

07 October 2022
Derry City and Strabane District Council will this month join other local councils in reinforcing the message around gas safety, as part of a joint campaign with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).
 
The campaign led by the eleven local authorities, aims to raise awareness of legal requirements around gas safety and the importance of maintaining gas appliances, focusing on the importance of gas safety in commercial catering, while HSENI will focus its efforts on the Care and Nursing Homes sectors. 
 
With the current cost of living pressures and hikes in gas prices, there are raised concerns that some businesses faced with spiraling costs may ignore the need for essential maintenance. The message from Council, is that health and safety must remain paramount and maintenance is a legal requirement there to protect everyone working for and using a local business.
 
Head of Health and Community Wellbeing with Council, Seamus Donaghy, said employers should be aware of their legal responsibilities.
 
"If you are an employer operating a gas system in your workplace, for example for cooking, heating the premises or for heating water, you must take steps to ensure that your gas system is being maintained in compliance with the law and to ensure safety," he stressed.
 
"Any gas system including those fueled by LPG and natural gas must be maintained in an ongoing safe condition, as per associated manufacturers' instructions. Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly without warning, it cannot be seen, and it is without taste or smell, so it's vitally important that safety maintenance is kept up to date to prevent these risks from arising.
 
"The law places duties on the responsible person (employer) at any place of work to ensure that any gas appliances, installation pipework and flues under their control, is maintained in a safe condition to prevent risk of injury."
 
Employers should be aware that:
 
  • Gas equipment must be installed, commissioned, and maintained by an appropriately qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. Supporting evidence of maintenance of the gas instillation should be available for review during any subsequent inspections by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) or HSENI Inspector. All Gas Safe registered engineers will be able to provide the relevant paperwork. 
 
  • Check the engineer is Gas Safe registered and appropriately qualified for the type of work to be undertaken. Not all Gas Safe registered engineers can work on all types of gas or appliances. The onus is on you to ensure that the engineer is qualified to work on your gas supply, as well as the type of gas appliances you have.
 
Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) from the council's Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team and HSENI inspectors, will be following a programme of visits and checks over the coming months, to ensure that businesses are aware of and complying with gas safety duties. Don't leave it until it's too late and ensure that any gas system used in the workplace is safe today and remains safe going forward into the future. 
 
Contact a competent gas engineer who is appropriately registered with the Gas Safe Register and put in place an ongoing programme of gas safety maintenance checks and actions.
 
A useful leaflet on what's needed to ensure gas safety in the commercial catering sector can be downloaded at: www.gassaferegister.co.uk/media/1447/commercial-catering.pdf
 
To find or check a Gas Safe registered engineer in  areas across Northern Ireland and check their qualifications, please visit:  GasSafeRegister.co.uk