Association of Registered Gas Installers
The Association of Registered Gas Installers (ARGI) is a free web-based association. Registration (membership) is open to gas installers who are already registered with CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers). ARGI was formed in 2004 to enable Registered Gas Installers (RGIs) to communicate effectively with each other, discuss matters affecting the industry and to make representations on their behalf, none of which is possible through CORGI itself.
In recent years there has been controversy over some aspects of the expanding role of CORGI. Some gas installers feel that the organization is overbearing and an excessive financial burden, and that little is being done to stop unregistered installers operating. It is mainly as a consequence of this that ARGI was formed.
Registration (free web membership) [full membership is NOT free), with ARGI is increasing rapidlyFact|date=February 2007. Membership figures are not published. In total there are around 55,000 CORGI registered businesses in the UK employing nearly 110,000 gas operatives, so there remains scope for the expansion of ARGI.
During 2006 ARGI has gained in credibility and has recently been invited by CORGI to join the CORGI Principal Representative Body (formerly the CORGI Council) and was represented during the latest Fundamental Review of Gas Safety conducted by the HSE.Many in the Industry have never had contact Argi until this time ,though its name is put on lists of attendees by those wishing to be seen.
The committee members are elected. There are regular meetings held and full members may vote on the resolutions.
There is a published mission statement, articles of association, statement of association policies, code of conduct.
Argi exists for the benefit of the Industry and the Public.
ARGI and CORGI - the issues
The real danger of CO poisoning
gas explosions, the greatest danger to the public in using gas is from Carbon Monoxide(CO), which is a highly toxic product of the combustion process which increases in the volume produced if the combustion is incomplete. Most of the concern for gas safety focuses on the safe dispersal of CO through ventilation and flue systems as well as the prevention of incomplete combustion by the regular service and maintenance of heat producing appliances especially those which are open flued. Modern gas appliances, especially those with fan assisted flues, are much safer in this respect and the number of fatalities from CO poisoning has greatly declined.
Each year around 30 people are killed as a result of CO poisoning though not all of these are associated with gas fired appliances. This should however be looked at in the context of other causes of death such as over 3,000 killed each year by motor vehicles and 30,000 extra winter deaths each year due partly to a lack of affordable heating. Lord Hunt at the recent Parliamentary Review himself raised the issue of "proportionality" and "not the only problem in the world". However for those involved with the victim support groups those who don't survive are in some ways spared a life ruined by brain damage, organ failure, loss of memory., blindness, induced epilepsy, peripheral palsy, personality change and loss of mobility. As if this wasn't enough of a burden to bear they are often ridiculed by medical practicioners or accused of phsycosematic illnesses in fact one victim had his arm opened up to relieve a trapped nerve which a nuerosurgeon was positive he had only to find that there was no trapped nerve. So maybe the fatal incidents are not the ones requiring close attention but those producing survivors.
Dealing with unregistered installers
Registered installers must spend time and money on training and assessments to maintain their level of competence and CORGI registration. This adds substantially to their overheads and their charges to the public must reflect that.
However there are many unregistered installers who do not carry these overheads and who typically offer a cheaper service to the public. Consequently ARGI view the RGIs increasing overheads as increasing the price differential and therefore a boost to the unregistered installer with whom they must compete.
One often proposed means of tackling this is to allow gas appliances to be sold only to RGIs. The identified RGI would then be responsible for the installation (or disposal/resale). However the Government appear unwilling to pursue this strategy.The public have been canvassed on this matter. The result was that the denial of right, for example to purchase your own cooker, was seen as too much state interference. As it is not illegal per se to install ANY appliance yourself in your own home, the denial of right to buy the appliance is an infrigement of personal liberty.
* [http://www.corgi-gas-safety.com/ CORGI]
* [http://www.argi-online.org.uk/ ARGI]
* [http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/index.htm HSE gas]
* [http://www.gas-news.co.uk/ Gas News]
* [http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/ CO Gas Safety]
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