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Safety at Petroleum Sites

The Health & Safety team is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, The Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928 and The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 at filling stations throughout the County.


You will require a Petroleum Licence if you keep more than 14 litres (3 gallons) of petroleum spirit, other than for your own vehicle where you may keep up to 2 x 9 litre (2 x 2 gallons) in metal containers. Petroleum spirit includes any product of crude petroleum which has a flashpoint below 21°C. This includes petrol, benzene, pentane and any mixture which contains these products and has a flashpoint below 21°C. This doesn't include white spirit, paraffin, diesel oil or fuel oils.

The licensing of such sites is carried out by the Licensing team of Ceredigion County Council. For further information on the licensing process, and to apply for a petroleum licence, please visit the licensing web pages by clicking here.

Petroleum Inspection

Licensees can expect to receive an inspection at periodic intervals by an officer from the Health and Safety Team, in order to ensure that the conditions of the licence are being maintained and that all other health and safety risks are being adequately controlled. A copy of the model licence conditions can be found at the bottom of this page.

Inspectors will check the condition of the forecourt, ensuring in particular that there are no leaks and that fire precautions (including suitable equipment) are in place. The site records will be examined to check that the storage tanks are being regularly monitored and that health and safety procedures are being followed. The wetstock records and site register should therefore be kept up to date and be available for inspection on site.

Decommissioning petroleum tanks and all other alterations to the petrol filling station

Before any work is commenced on any part of the petrol installation, approval must obtained approval from this Authority. Work means any work that involves storage tanks, pipe work, drainage systems, dispensers, sales buildings (where pumps are authorised), LPG Installations, any tank and line testing, decommissioning etc.

The scope and extent of these works must be made known together with the name of the project manager and contractors involved. On most occasions there will be the need for a site-specific risk assessment and a safety method statement that must be submitted along with any notification. It would also be helpful for a scaled drawing to be submitted that can show where the work is taking place in conjunction with the hazardous areas.

Finally it is important to establish whether the work will cause either a partial or total closure to take place and the additional safeguards necessary to protect contractors, staff and any members of the public where the work area must be segregated from any parts of the forecourt that remain open.

Under the licensing conditions, at least 28 days notice in writing shall be given in respect of this work, but depending on the extent of work this may be relaxed if it is of a minor nature.

The APEA/IP Document 'Guidance on the Design, Construction, Modification and Maintenance of Petrol Filling Stations' 2nd Edition (April 2005) is the nationally approved code of practice that is to be followed when carrying out any alterations. Also known in the industry as the 'Blue Book' the document costs £120.00 unless you are a member of the Association for Petroleum Explosives Administration (APEA) or the Institute of Petroleum (IP) where you can purchase it for reduced price. Visit the web site for further information as follows


It is a condition of the petroleum licence to report any fire, explosion, leak or significant spillage to this Department. A report should be made for any leak or spill of 20 litres or more unless the circumstances suggest that site conditions will worsen. In this case, the licensee should contact the petroleum officer using the contact details below:

The Petroleum Officer
Commercial Services
Department of Environmental Services and Housing
SA46 0PA
01545 572105