Petrol station was ‘unsafe’

The owner of Anchorsholme Service Station on Fleetwood Road was facing a council committee today after an inspection found that the forecourt was unsafe.'26-7-2012
The owner of Anchorsholme Service Station on Fleetwood Road was facing a council committee today after an inspection found that the forecourt was unsafe.'26-7-2012
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MAINTENANCE at a Blackpool petrol station was so poor the premises were unsafe, councillors were told.

Health and Safety officers found a catalogue of neglect at Anchorsholme Service Station on Fleetwood Road.

A list of 16 defects were highlighted following an inspection of the site on July 9 this year.

Health and Safety officer Gareth Shaw (right) told Blackpool Council’s public protection sub-committee: “If there was to have been an incident, then it wasn’t safe.

“It would have developed into a major incident with the combinations of factors we found.”

Among the dangers highlighted were a pump which had worn through to the hose, an unlocked petrol tank, a cracked manhole cover, damaged piping and signs of subsidence in the form of surface cracking on the forecourt.

In addition, there was a build up of combustible materials on adjoining land which also belonged to the petrol station.

Training records were missing, no current risk assessments could be found and important warning signs had been removed.

Councillors said vital checks had not been carried out to ensure the safety of the petrol station.

Coun John Jones said: “These are really serious things that if they are checked daily should have been picked up and acted upon.

“Boxes seem to have been ticked but I don’t think anything has been acted upon.”

Roger Bali, area manager for the Park Garage Group which operates the service station on behalf of Esso, said improvements had since been made and more work was being done to rectify the danger.

He said training was in place and while the manager was a fairly recent recruit, other staff had worked there for between eight and 10 years.

Mr Bali said: “We are addressing all these issues and I can assure the committee these problems will not be repeated. I will shut the site down if whatever is highlighted is not addressed.”

While some work had been carried out, the company was still awaiting a structural engineer’s report in relation to the forecourt.

The committee agreed to grant a licence for a month for the service station, and ordered the matter to come back to its next meeting on August 23.

A condition of the licence was that when the manager was not on duty, a competent person had to be installed as cover.

Mr Shaw said: “Quite a lot of the work has been done or is scheduled to be done and we are in a much better place now to get reassurances.”