For immediate release – Tuesday 25 October 2016
On Friday 7 October 2016, the Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG) held its 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and discussed the challenges and opportunities concerning gas safety, within the UK gas industry.
The GISG Board of Directors – made up of members who represent leading companies and organisations associated with the gas sector across the UK – discussed a range of issues ranging from smart meters, education and training standards for young engineers, and the continued safety of customers.
GISG members expressed particular disappointment that smart meter installation operatives are currently not required to be equipped with appropriate carbon monoxide (CO) atmosphere monitors – they believe this is a significant missed opportunity to protect operatives and ensure customer safety.
Chairman of the GISG, Chris Bielby said:
“The smart meter installation programme is a once in a life time opportunity to go inside every property in the UK and it is essential it is used to improve the safety of customers. According to the Gas Safe Register’s most recent research, there are 1.1 million illegal installations per annum and it is paramount for customer safety that these are located and attended to.”
The safety of customers as a priority of the GISG was also discussed in response to the most recent Downstream Incident Data Report (DIDR). The report showed that during the 2014/15 winter period there were four fatalities in elderly people over 80 years of age, from three separate incidents linked to piped natural gas. All three incidents involved very old, open flued appliances.
“In 2010 the Government held a scheme which led to the replacement of 118,000 old and potentially unsafe gas boilers. We will continue to push the Government to repeat this boiler replacement scheme to help improve safety and the carbon footprint across the UK,” Bielby said.
The GISG AGM concluded with all members acknowledging recent research by Energy and Utility Skills (EUS) that 50% of senior managers in the gas and electric industries will have retired by 2020.
“It is essential that our apprentices and newly qualified engineers have the skills and knowledge to underpin their experience, so they can become leaders in our industry,” said Bielby.
Since its formation in 2000, the Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG) has brought together the UK’s gas industry to maintain and improve safety performance. GISG promotes gas safety by improving cooperation and coordination throughout the industry, sharing best practice, commissioning key research and providing an opportunity to address safety issues on a collaborative basis.
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