Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd v Regina: CACD 16 Mar 2010

Liable Operator was the person noified

The company, a joint venture enterprise, appealed against a refusal to stay prosecutions for various infringements when a fuel depot they were said to control (the Buncefield oil terminal) exploded. The company denied that they were the operator as required within the law.
Held: The operator was the person notifying himself to the authorities as being such, even if it did not have the necessary day to day control of the premises to exert actual control. It had been Total which originally gave such notifications, and it was for the prosecutor to establish that the appellant had given a subsequent modifying notification. A subsequent safety report informally pointed to the appellant, but the authority had not suggested the need to regularise the notification. There was therefore evidence to suggest that the appellant might be the operator, and it should be for a jury to establish the true position. The appeal failed.
Hooper LJ
[2010] EWCA Crim 493
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 2(1) 3(1), Water Resources Act 1991 85(1), Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 4, Council Directive 96/82/EC on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedColour Quest Ltd and others v Total Downstream UK Plc and others (Rev 1) ComC 20-Mar-2009
The claim arose when a petrol spillage created a large vapour cloud which exploded causing widespread damage and injury. . .

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Updated: 03 June 2021; Ref: scu.402958