Builder fined following NAPIT’s intervention

NAPIT has called for more prosecutions to be brought against electrical work which does not comply with Part P of the Building Regulations, after playing a key role in a conviction in South Gloucestershire by conducting a full Electrical Compliance Inspection.

David Appleton was fined a total of over £8,000 at Bristol Magistrates’ Court after substandard electrical work was found at two properties he had worked on. NAPIT were invited by South Gloucestershire Council to conduct inspections on these properties after the council’s Building Control Department found that work may have breached the Building Regulations. The subsequent investigation uncovered several major electrical faults, some of which could have posed immediate danger to inhabitants.

David Cowburn, NAPIT’s Chief Operating Officer, said “I was delighted to hear the outcome of this court case, and I hope it sends a clear message that non-compliance with the Building Regulations is unacceptable. This case also serves as a reminder that using qualified and competent electricians to undertake work can help to stop dangerous situations like these from arising. South Gloucestershire Council have set a fantastic example in pursuing this prosecution, and we would like other Local Authorities to follow their lead to ensure that the Building Regulations are respected.”

Cllr Paul Hughes, Cabinet Member responsible for Communities and Tourism in South Gloucestershire, said: “This case demonstrates the importance of ensuring the correct route is followed when undertaking any building work. Construction is a complex arena where unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of customers’ unfamiliarity with legislation, and profit from cutting corners. Our Building Control team has a very important role to play in maintaining a level playing field for local businesses and to make sure householders can be confident that where unsatisfactory and unsafe work is evident it will be followed up. In this case, we stepped in when a complaint was made and engaged with NAPIT to successfully bring this prosecution, and the outcome proves that a hard line will be taken by the council on those who profiteer at the expense of others’ safety.”

NAPIT has long been calling for the enforcement of Part P of the Building Regulations to be strengthened, after sponsoring a 2013 report by the Electrical Safety Roundtable which found that only one successful prosecution under Part P had taken place in the previous two years. For more information on NAPIT’s suggestions for improving compliance with Part P, visit http://www.napit.org.uk/pdf/briefing_note_Compliance_and_Enforcement_of_Part_P_of_the_Building_Regulations.pdf

To find out more about the Electrical Safety Roundtable’s research into enforcement of Part P of the Building Regulations, visit http://www.electricalsafetyroundtable.co.uk/downloads/ESR-report-summary.pdf.

To find your nearest NAPIT registered installer, visit www.napit.org.uk.

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