Following the release of the APPCOG (All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group) inquiry into gas engineers training, Consumer Safety International (CSI) President Molly Maher, issues the following statement:
CSI raised its deep concerns on the inadequate training of gas engineers for many years and again during a CSI Meeting at the House of Lords on the 11th May 2011 particularly calling for the abolition of “fast track” courses. It seems ridiculous any person can become a 'gas safe registered' engineer following a 10-DAY TRAINING PERIOD as the APPCOG findings state.
Over the past five years CSI, through its European representative Stephen Hadley, has raised these concerns in Europe focusing on the impact this has on consumers’ health regarding low-level exposure to carbon monoxide from incomplete combustion of gas appliances. A 14-year study carried out in Taiwan confirmed there is a link between low-level carbon monoxide exposure and dementia in humans. This is extremely worrying for consumers given the high number of flueless appliances sold annually like gas cookers, hobs etc.
The inquiry findings show an increase from 1% to 5% from unsafe gas engineering practices which is absolutely shocking. CSI targets consumers to being vigilant in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning, as opposed to defending themselves against it, by excellent installations and annual servicing carried out by competent professionals.
Since franchising the gas register to Capita, CSI understands the former initial entry inspections for new candidates to the register has been abolished. How ridiculous! It is reasonable to assume the first indication an engineer may not be credible is following an unsafe incident. Is it now time for the Gas Safe Register to mandatory disclose when registered gas engineers were trained and qualified?
In 2017, the BBC program Watchdog uncovered the many unsafe smart meter installations by engineers, with one property being completely gutted from fire as well as the many gas escapes caused by incompetent engineers. These findings show the importance of market surveillance.
CSI is willing to lend its support on calling upon the current government to introduce legislation to improve training over a much longer period along with examinations proving their knowledge. The abolition of fast-track assessment centres is urgently needed, so consumers can have confidence in gas engineers.
The above is very important and more time should not be wasted. The health and safety of our population is very important and has been ignored for far too long regarding carbon monoxide poisoning.
15th January 2018
(Addressed to: All CSI Members and Associates, Prime Minister Theresa May MP and Relevant Ministers, Relevant Parties in Brussels and Media)
ENC: Policy Connect Data
Molly Maher, President of Consumer Safety International (CSI) – A charity committed to reducing accidents in domestic commercial and holiday accommodation, including their facilities, worldwide and provides advice and assistance to accident victims and their families.