Millions of businesses unclear on duties over safe gas appliances

More than 1.5 million small and medium enterprises say that they are not aware of their legal duties when it comes to maintaining safe gas appliances.  This could mean that many companies around the UK are inadvertently putting their businesses at risk because they don’t understand, or are unware of the current regulations.

Under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 all employers are legally obliged to  make sure that gas appliances, gas pipe works and flues remaining in good working order, however, more than 50% of senior managers stated that they did not know that they had to carry out regular safety checks.

27% of those surveyed said that taking advantage of the recovering economy was most important to them, and 45% of respondents felt that increasing the amount customers spend was the most essential challenge faced by their business, however, 38% said that they were “overwhelmed” by the sheer amount of compliance and safety requirements, while 39% said that they didn’t have adequate time to ensure that they stayed up to date with all of the relevant safety requirements.

Just under half of the small and medium sized businesses interviewed said that that they had not carried out safety checks within the last 12 months, which could mean that their Business Liability Insurance would no longer be validate should an accident happen or a claim be made against their company.

Businesses that don’t carry out regular energy safety checks are putting their company at risk of prosecution should a problem occur and they are also endangering the health and safety of the people that work for them.

Commenting on the survey, Stephen Beynon, Managing Director at British Gas Business, said:

“Gas safety should be an absolute priority for all businesses. Our customers tell us that it can be a struggle to find the time to wade through compliance requirements, but the consequences of using unsafe gas appliances can be severe. With winter not far away it makes sense to put plans in place which protect businesses and allow them to focus on what matters – growing their revenues to help Britain’s economic recovery.”

In further findings, 60% of those interviewed stated that they had experienced a  breakdown within the last five years, but  just over a quarter said that they had no backup plan in place should there be a breakdown.

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