Staying safe during building projects- repairs and refurbishments

For this year’s Gas Safety Week, IGEM’s Large Business Forum (LBF) is renewing its appeal to gas professionals to spread the word amongst fellow tradespeople of the dangers of interfering with existing gas installations when working in buildings. The forum has refreshed guidance to help tradespeople ensure they do not contravene Regulation 8 of the Gas Safety Installation & Use Regulations (GSIUR) L56.

The Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations place legal duties on all trades to keep gas installations safe. When businesses and tradespeople undertake planned or responsive property work that could affect the safety of existing gas installations, such as roofing, plumbing, building, refurbishment, etc., they have legal responsibilities and obligations to be observant and to ensure their work does not affect the safety of gas fittings.

Businesses and tradespeople, e.g. builders, maintenance people, window/ventilation or cladding installers, etc., must ensure the work they do doesn’t compromise gas safety – or they could face prosecution.

IGEM’s Large Business Forum (LBF) is focusing on Regulation 8 of the Gas Safety Installation & Use Regulations (GSIUR) for Gas Safety Week. This will be an ongoing campaign aimed at helping businesses that may in some way encounter and affect gas fittings, such as construction firms and housing repair/refurbish teams, to ensure they keep gas users safe.  

In short, Regulation 8 of the GSIUR states: “This regulation prohibits anyone from carrying out any alteration to premises in which a gas fitting or storage vessel is already installed which could compromise gas safety. The regulation also prohibits any work on a gas fitting or associated flue/ventilation system which would result in danger to any person.”

This initiative is supported by IGEM, Heating & Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC), Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC), Gas Safe Register and Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and is designed to be an ongoing process.  

Alongside this, Gas Safe Register has produced a targeted factsheet for gas users who employ tradesmen to undertake work in their property with an aligned message.

The LBF, in collaboration with wider industry, has produced two simple risk assessments that are free to download.

  1. A risk assessment for project managers and non-gas workers who may not be gas competent. 
  2. A technical survey (risk assessment) for Gas Safe registered competent engineers. 

It is extremely important all surveys and risk assessments are recorded and held on file for retrieval.

For gas safety advice or to find or check a gas engineer, visit the Gas Safe Register website. Alternatively, call the free helpline on 0800 408 550.

The Large Business Forum has produced two example risk assessments which are free to demonstrate how their guidance should be applied. These are provided below.