A PETROL station owner who was caught on film spraying his business with fuel “like he’s watering his garden” has been slammed for putting customers’ lives at risk.
CCTV footage captured Ron Carrison, who owns a Mobil station in Barisdale, Victoria, hosing the ground near his bowsers with petrol.
Former staff members claim Mr Carrison uses the petrol in an effort to remove diesel stains from the ground of his Main Street business, which is located on a busy highway near a motel, a bottle shop and a Domino’s Pizza store.
Mr Carrison is also a repeat offender, with The Environmental Protection Agency telling A Current Affair it would reopen an investigation into the potentially deadly habit after previously warning him against the practice.
“EPA has previously advised the operator of his obligations. In light of this new vision EPA will be revisiting the matter,” an EPA spokesman told the program.
Mr Carrison initially denied the practice after being confronted by A Current Affair journalist Martin King, who investigated the case.
A woman at the station also told Mr King the program had “no proof” of the spraying.
However, the CCTV footage clearly shows the business owner spraying the cement with large quantities of fuel direct from a bowser.
Mr King said Mr Carrison, who he described as a “clean freak”, regularly ordered his teenage staff members to do the dangerous work for him.
A number of ex-employees said they had often been verbally abused, sworn at and humiliated by their boss if they refused to participate in the public safety breach.
The journalist also claimed Mr Carrison sprayed petrol before and after hours and even while customers were filling up their cars nearby during the day.
Teenager Jack Trevaskis, who used to work at the station, is one of the former employees who have lifted the lid on Mr Carrison’s dodgy practices.
He told Mr King he had been forced to spray the station with unleaded fuel while passers-by smoked cigarettes nearby, despite the clear danger.
Jack said his former boss had an unhealthy obsession with stain removal, spraying up to 2.5 litres of the fluid in one “cleaning” session alone.
“You do it or you don’t have a job,” he said.
Jack also claimed he had been forced to clean a huge storage shed with so much petrol the fumes had made him feel dizzy and sick.
Jack’s father Glen, a former policeman who also used to work in a bottle shop owned by Mr Carrison, said the habit could turn deadly in an instant.
He was outraged that his son had been put in danger.
“This is a disaster waiting to happen,” Mr Trevaskis said. “I just can’t believe it hasn’t happened yet. It’s unbelievable.
“Throwing petrol around in the driveway … you just need a spark and it just goes up. The petrol fumes are highly explosive.”
Mr Trevaskis said Mr Carrison was knowingly flouting safety regulations.
“You see this sort of thing in Third World countries where there’s no regulations but here we’ve got regulations to stop this sort of thing but Ron just doesn’t care.”
Extracted from Herald Sun.