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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

HM Revenue & Customs
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Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils (RDCO): health and safety

Before undertaking visits you should make sure that you are familiar with the Department’s health and safety policy and the roles and responsibilities of managers and staff in protecting their health and safety at work. Appropriate training should be undertaken. Details of available courses can be found on the Online Learning system.

Staff should familiarise themselves with the guidance in HCOTEG11000 - Introduction and overview of oils activity: Health and Safety.

A local risk assessment, identifying potential hazards involved in Oils Strategy assurance work and measures to eliminate or reduce risk should be in place.

Oil can be dangerous. It is flammable and carcinogenic. You should not regularly come into direct contact with oil during an assurance visit. If you need to test oil or take samples you should seek assistance from the Road Fuel Testing Units (RFTU) who have staff who are trained to do this safely. However, you will be expected to inspect the premises of RDCOs and tied oil traders and you may on occasion come into contact with oil.

Traders have a responsibility towards HMRC staff on their premises. You should ask about and follow their H&S procedures. Traders will usually provide any necessary protective equipment, however it is recommended that you obtain the following items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and take them with you on visits in case you need them:

  • rubber-soled, oil resistant boots
  • high visibility, oil proof jacket
  • a hard hat
  • rubber gloves.

Make sure you wash your hands if you come into contact with oil.

Please refer to the HS series of guidance for more information on H&S and risk assessment. You may also find the H&S guidance in the Enforcement Handbook Oils and H&S sections useful.