Home handyman convicted – timely reminder to consumers

A home handyman who illegally installed a gas fireplace and conducted poor electrical work at a home in Auckland was recently prosecuted. This serves as a timely reminder to consumers to stay safe and always use a licensed tradesperson.

Anyone involved in plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying, or electrical work is required to carry an authorisation card – and consumers should ask for it.

In the prosecution brought by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB), and the Electrical Workers Registration Board, the man was fined $6,599 for illegal gasfitting and electrical work.

Occupants of the property placed a complaint with the PGDB when they became ill and developed symptoms consistent with exposure to the products of gas combustion – a sore throat, chesty cough, and sore eyes. Prolonged low-level exposure to carbon monoxide can cause illness, loss of normal cognitive function, and drowsiness. At high levels of exposure, it can be fatal. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, because it is both odourless and colourless.

The evident risks of the defective gasfitting work at the property, combined with faults found with the electrical work carried out, presented a high risk of explosion.

If a member of the public believes that they have had work done by someone who is not authorised or has concerns about the competency of tradespeople, they can make a complaint to the PGDB.

  • Read more about this prosecution
  • You can check to see if a tradesperson is authorised on the PGDB’s website

Summarised from a PDGB media release, 17 November 2014.

Published in consumer and occupational safety.