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Oil and Gas (Enterprise) Act 1982

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

14Safety regulations

For section 31 of the 1972 Act there shall be substituted the following section— Power to make safety regulations

31(1)The Secretary of State may make such regulations as he thinks fit for the purpose of securing that the public is so far as practicable protected from any personal injury, fire, explosion or other dangers arising from the transmission or distribution of gas through pipes, or from the use of gas supplied through pipes.

(2)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, any regulations made under this section may make provision for empowering any officer authorised by the relevant authority, with such other persons (if any) as may be necessary.—

(a)to enter any premises in which there is a service pipe connected with gas mains, for the purpose of inspecting any gas fitting on the premises, any flue or means of ventilation used in connection with any such gas fitting, or any service pipe or other apparatus (not being a gas fitting) which is on the premises and is used for the supply of gas or is connected with gas mains,

(b)where he so enters any such premises, to examine or apply any test to any such object as is mentioned in paragraph (a) above and (where the object is a gas fitting) to verify what supply of air is available for it, with a view to ascertaining whether the provisions of any regulations made under this section have been complied with or whether the object is in such a condition, or (in the case of a gas fitting) the supply of air available for it is so inadequate, that it (or, in the case of a flue or means of ventilation, the gas fitting in connection with which it is used) is likely to constitute a danger to any person or property, and

(c)where in his opinion it is necessary to do so for the purpose of averting danger to life or property, and notwithstanding any contract previously existing, to disconnect and seal off any gas fitting or any part of the gas supply system on the premises, or cut off the supply of gas to the premises or, if no such supply is being given, to signify the refusal of the relevant authority to give or, as the case may be, allow such a supply.

(3)Where any regulations under this section confer any power in accordance with paragraph (c) of subsection (2) above, the regulations shall also include provision—

(a)for securing that, where any such power is exercised, the consumer will be notified as to the nature of the defect or other circumstances in consequence of which it has been exercised,

(b)for enabling any consumer so notified to appeal to the Secretary of State on the grounds that the defect or other circumstances in question did not constitute a danger such as to justify the action taken in the exercise of the power, or did not exist or have ceased to exist, and

(c)for enabling the Secretary of State to give such directions as may in accordance with the regulations be determined by him to be appropriate in consequence of any such appeal.

(4)Regulations made under this section may make provision for prohibiting any person, except with the consent of the relevant authority or in pursuance of any directions given by the Secretary of State as mentioned in subsection (3)(c) above, from—

(a)reconnecting any gas fitting or part of any gas supply system which has been disconnected by or on behalf of the relevant authority in exercise of a power conferred by the regulations, or

(b)restoring the supply of gas to any premises where it has been cut off by or on behalf of the relevant authority in the exercise of any such power, or

(c)causing gas from gas mains to be supplied to any premises where in pursuance of the regulations the refusal of the relevant authority to give or, as the case may be, allow a supply to those premises has been signified and that refusal has not been withdrawn.

(5)Where in pursuance of any powers conferred by regulations made under this section, entry is made on any premises by an officer authorised by the relevant authority, the officer shall ensure that the premises are left not less secure by reason of the entry ; and the relevant authority shall make good, or pay compensation for, any damage caused by the officer, or by any person accompanying him in entering the premises, in taking any action therein authorised by the regulations, or in making the premises secure.

(6)If any person wilfully obstructs any officer exercising powers conferred by regulations made under this section, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £200.

(7)The Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 (entry under a justice's warrant) shall apply in relation to any powers of entry conferred by regulations made under this section as if—

(a)any reference to the Corporation were a reference to the relevant authority, and

(b)any reference to an employee of the Corporation were a reference to an officer authorised by the relevant authority.

(8)Any local enactment which is inconsistent with or rendered redundant by any regulations made under this section shall cease to have effect as from the date on which those regulations come into operation.

(9)In this section ' the relevant authority '—

(a)in relation to dangers arising from the distribution of gas by the Corporation, or from the use of gas supplied by the Corporation, means the Corporation, and

(b)in relation to dangers arising from the distribution of gas by a person other than the Corporation, or from the use of gas supplied by such a person, means the Secretary of State.

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