Guidance on the use of mobile phones and other portable electrical devices on petrol filling stations

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EI Publications

  • Published: July 2018
  • REF/ISBN: 9781787250079
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: Current

This publication is free to download for registered users.

This document aims to provide guidance to petrol filling station operators and duty holders to help assess, through conducting a risk assessment, what adequate controls should be in place to ensure the safe use of mobile phones and other portable electronic devices at petrol filling stations and identifies specifically when the use of such devices should not be permitted, such as when a flammable atmosphere is present. The guidance emphasises the need to ‘clearly communicate’ associated permissions and limitations to the public at the filling station.

Health and Safety at Work legislation in the UK holds the retail site operator, or his identified responsible person (the duty holder), responsible for the safety of the site and for all activities carried out by staff, visitors and contractors on it. This responsibility includes a need to manage the use of electrical equipment in identified hazardous areas on the site. The duty holder should ensure adequate control is in place before allowing activities to proceed, and stop any unsafe activities.

This document provides guidance for designers and duty holders on how they might assess such adequate control in connection with the use of portable electronic devices, including mobile phones, by staff, contractors, official visitors and members of the public while on petrol filling stations. It presents changes from the previous approach of a blanket hazardous area existing at all times across the forecourt resulting in a general prohibition of phone use which, while excessive in relation to the hazard, had the benefit of being simply applied.

Portable electrical tools are not covered in this scope. For use of tools and other electrical equipment refer to Control of Works (CoW) requirements in EI Code of safe practice for contractors and retailers managing contractors working on filling stations.

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