Company is fined after ignoring explosion risk warnings

A company has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 after ignoring warnings from West Sussex Trading Standards

 

Release date: 9 March 2020

A company has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 after ignoring warnings from West Sussex Trading Standards to make a potentially explosive underground petrol tank safe.

CJ Hurst (Lickfold) Ltd of The Street, Bury, West Sussex pleaded guilty to the charges and were fined £1,650 and ordered  to pay £332 in costs at a hearing at Worthing Magistrates court.

The petrol tank is located beneath a business yard near Lickfold, West Sussex, which is owned by the company. The units within the yard are rented out to other local businesses and it is understood that the underground tank had been disused for nearly 30 years.

Despite numerous interventions from Trading Standards, the company refused to make it safe.

All petrol tanks, even those emptied of fuel, pose a risk of explosion unless they are properly decommissioned. Old disused petrol tanks can pose a particular danger if those working around them are not aware of the risk. 

Having failed to deal with the matter on an advisory basis Petroleum Officers from West Sussex Trading Standards served a notice to the company under Public Health legislation requiring the tank to be made safe.

The company failed to comply with the notice so officers took further action.

Nobody from the company attended the court hearing but the legal representative for CJ Hurst (Lickfold) Ltd told the court the company had now made the petrol tank safe by filling it with heating oil.

Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “Disused petrol tanks have the potential to be incredibly dangerous unless dealt with in the correct way.

“Officers had sought to work with the company and made several warnings which were repeatedly ignored.”

Report an issue to Trading Standards online or contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.

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