East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding those responsible for running petrol stations of their legal responsibilities after the owner of a Bexhill petrol station was fined.
Sultan Hayat, the owner of Bexhill Service Station, Barnhorn Road, Bexhill, pleaded guilty at Eastbourne Magistrates, Court on Friday (April 1) to two offences of failing to comply with formal requests for information related to an Improvement Notice and an Enforcement Notice.
A fire service spokesman said Hayat was fined a total of £4,028.60 which included full costs for the fire authority and a victim surcharge.
“In November, 2015, the service’s petroleum inspecting officers wrote to Hayat formally requesting information regarding a submersible pump used at the petrol station and it’s suitability for use in a flammable atmosphere,” they said. “At the same time, the service’s business safety inspecting officers formally requested information regarding the significant findings of Hayat’s premises fire risk assessment.
“It is a fundamental requirement in law that regulators are provided with appropriate assistance and information.
“This is so that they can be satisfied that those responsible are properly ensuring the safety of the public and other relevant persons in accordance with regulations.
“As Mr Hayat continually failed to provide relevant information on the suitability of the sump pump and the significant findings of the fire risk assessment the service deemed it necessary to prosecute.”
In sentencing Hayat, magistrates said they were disappointed with the ‘abject run-around’ he had put East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to.
“They added that as an experienced petrol station owner Hayat should know all the legislation that must be adhered to and that he had put people’s lives at risk,” said the fire service spokesman.
“The magistrates also stated Hayat caused the fire service to spend a lot of time trying to make the petrol station safer, which they should not need to do.
“Hayat was told that it was situations like his that caused East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to come knocking on peoples doors and that the magistrates bench was grateful that the service do.”
Richard Fowler, business safety manager for ESFRS said: “Failure to provide information to an inspecting officer is a serious matter and we are pleased that the court took such a firm line in this case.
“A prosecution could have been avoided if Mr Hayat had taken the advice of the inspecting officers and provided the information when requested.”
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