Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has prosecuted a Melbourne plumbing company that failed to comply with an Improvement Notice to address non-compliant gas installations at a Hoppers Crossing takeaway restaurant.
Ridgewater Plumbing Pty Ltd plead guilty to two charges in the Werribee Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 10 October and was fined $5,000 after failing to comply with an Improvement Notice issued in relation to non-compliant gas installation works at Burgies restaurant between 2017 and 2020. It also provided false or misleading information about complying with the notice.
Ridgewater Plumbing initially sought permission from ESV to carry out the installation of a continuous flow gas hot water system, a cooktop, fryer, griller and chargrill at the restaurant in November 2017.
The submission failed to include required information, which prompted ESV to cancel the application after requesting and not receiving relevant documents.
Despite the cancellation, Ridgewater Plumbing proceeded to deliver the commercial kitchen works without ESV’s knowledge.
As the regulator for gas safety, ESV is responsible for ensuring that all new and existing gas installations are safe and meet requirements as stated in applicable Acts and Regulations. It was only during a follow-up audit of the cancelled gas application in May 2019 that ESV discovered the work had been carried out. ESV inspectors found the works carried out included a number of non-compliant items, including exposed pipes, a deformed flex connecter as well as clearance, buffer and ventilation issues.
ESV subsequently issued an Improvement Notice, requiring Moustafa Moussa as director of Ridgewater Plumbing Pty Ltd fix the non-compliances and confirm they had been addressed.
In early January 2020, Mr Moussa told ESV that the non-compliances had been fixed, prompting another ESV inspection.
The inspection found only one non-compliance in the improvement notice was addressed with a further 14 non-compliances identified, prompting ESV to issue a Notice of Non-Compliance.
It wasn’t until March 2020 when ESV inspectors returned to confirm that all non-compliances had been resolved.
“ESV takes a hard line on plumbers, gasfitters or electrical workers who think they can cut corners, putting safety at risk.” “Ridgewater Plumbing’s conduct was particularly concerning after they claimed to have addressed non-compliances, only for our inspectors to confirm that they were still there on multiple occasions.”
Reviewed 24 January 2023