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Delivery standards for business owners

What is the definition of a “commercial customer”
For the purposes of oil delivery a “commercial customer” is any business or concern including commercial industrial, agricultural, construction sites and military establishments. Residential properties such care homes and blocks of flats with a shared oil heating tank are also defined as commercial. In short any delivery other than to a domestic property is defined as a commercial delivery.

At a commercial site who is the customer “competent person”?
The customer “competent person” is one who has sufficient knowledge, training and experience to know the set-up, condition, capacity and ullage (space available for delivery) of their oil storage tank(s). 
The Certas Energy delivery driver needs to use their professional judgement to assess if customer is a “competent person”. 

For example a caretaker at a school, farmer or site manager would be deemed competent, an operative, secretary or office staff that do not know about the tank set-up or ullage etc. would not be judged as competent. If driver is in any doubt about customer’s competence to sign ullage box, they need to seek advice from their Manager and not make delivery.

What can the “competent person” sign for at a commercial site?
The customer competent person can sign the ullage box to confirm tank has sufficient ullage and tank is in safe condition for delivery. This should be done at every commercial site wherever possible.
Competent person can also sign ullage box for a blind fill delivery to confirm offset fill is permanently connected to the storage tank if it is not possible for driver to inspect this. 

Competent person can also sign if there is no overfill alarm on a blind fill. However please note blind fill tank must be fitted with a tank gauge or other suitable means (physical dipping of tank, remote sensor or similar device) to allow driver to monitor filling during delivery.

What is a ‘blind fill’
Certas Energy defines a blind fill as a delivery where the tank cannot be seen from the delivery point.

Why are Certas Energy not completely responsible for every delivery at commercial sites?
If an unattended delivery is made to a commercial site, Certas Energy are generally completely responsible. 

However commercial customer also has a legal duty to provide and maintain their tank in a safe condition. If customer competent person signs ullage box to confirm ullage and tank condition, providing it was shown delivery driver had followed correct delivery procedure, any leak, overfill or spillage would be deemed to be the customer’s responsibility. 

Can deliveries be made to commercial site storage tank with no gauge or high level alarm fitted?
There must be sufficient ullage in the tank prior to commencing delivery.  Ullage checks can be made using: tank gauge, physical dipping of tank, remote sensor or similar device.  Our driver may consider delivery of initial test quantities to determine tank gauge operation and if there is any doubt the delivery may be aborted.

What are the requirements to make a blind fill at a commercial delivery site?
a) The tank must be fitted with a suitable tank gauge or other suitable means so driver can monitor filling during delivery.

b) Driver can confirm offset fill is permanently connected to the oil storage tank.

c) Tank is fitted with a high level alarm.

If b) and c) are not met, customer competent person must sign ullage box before delivery can be made.

How high can a driver climb at a customer site using the tanker portable ladder?
Tanker portable ladder must be used in accordance with Certas Energy driver training and generic delivery operations risk assessment.

Driver must first assess the delivery site conditions to ensure it is suitable for safe ladder use
The maximum height is governed by the ladder size, Certas Energy tankers are generally fitted with a 2 metre extendable ladder or a 2.5 metre extendable ladder. With the ladder set up at the correct 1:4 angle and driver standing below the 3rd rung from top of fully extended ladder the maximum height is:

• 2 metre ladder = 2 metres

• 2.5 metre ladder = 3 metres

Driver must keep waist within confines of the ladder and are not permitted to climb off ladder to go over walls, onto platforms or top of tanks etc.

How high can driver climb on a suitable fixed ladder at a customer site?
3 metres is the maximum height driver is permitted to climb on a suitable fixed ladder, fitted with safety hoops if above 2 metres and a working platform with twin guardrails/fall protection fitted.

Why do Certas Energy need to check the age of plastic tanks with our customers?
OFTEC guidance indicates that above ground plastic tanks have a life expectancy of no more than 20 yrs at which point they should be replaced. This is mainly due to the effects of sunlight/ultra-violet radiation on the plastic material used to make the tank. However please note if the tank has not been properly supported this life expectancy could be greatly reduced due to the possible stress placed on the plastic which can cause cracking and splitting failure of the tank skin.

If we do not include this as part of our sales and driver tank check processes we could be found liable for not advising customer to replace their tank.

Why do Certas Energy switch site tank site gauges off after delivery?
The Environment Agency recommends that tank sight gauges are turned off except when checking the tank contents level. There have been numerous occasions where site gauge tube has fallen over or valve has leaked causing serious leaks and spills.

Certas Energy policy is to switch off sight gauge after delivery and notify the customer by affixing label on the delivery ticket stating this has been done. Supply of these labels are available from HSE Admin office.

If sight gauge is found to be suspect or defective, do not attempt to switch gauge on or off. Driver must notify the customer during delivery if possible and complete Site Safety/Delivery Report. 

What is a ‘small mobile plant fuel tank’
A small mobile plant fuel tank is a tank fitted typically fitted to construction plant such as excavators, dumpers, loading shovels which have a capacity of less than 500lt and are designed for refuelling through a standard fuel pump nozzle – not designed to be filled via tanker hose reel/gun.