The APEA (Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administrators), the leading organisation supporting the Petroleum Industry, has presented Suresite Group Chair, Geoff Oldham, with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at APEA LIve 2019.
The award recognises almost 50 years that Geoff has given to petroleum retailing and his innovations that have served to make it a safer industry.
Geoff joined Esso Petroleum Co Ltd in 1971 after an earlier career as a CID officer in London’s East End. At Esso, he became a Senior Retail Area Manager working in the North-West and Isle of Man. He decided to leave Esso in April 1994 and identified the need for a specialist organisation to introduce the new HS(G)41 regulations covering safe operation of petrol service stations.
Geoff founded Suresite Ltd (which later became the multifaceted Suresite Group Ltd) – a dedicated compliance and risk management company for the forecourt sector.
Geoff’s initial Site Register and associated Site Inspection has evolved considerably over the years and Suresite Group still supplies hundreds of these documents each year to sites across the UK. It has been accepted as the register of choice for over two decades and is now available in electronic format.
For the first time, it proposed a simple but effective scoring system to help improve site standards. Forecourts are rated on everything from cleanliness through to paperwork management. Many of the UK’s leading oil companies are longstanding customers. This assessment process is now completed almost 4,000 times a year at fuel forecourts across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
1996 saw the publication of HS(G)146 which introduced the concept of Risk Assessment to the retail petroleum industry . Naturally, Geoff led the way in launching these Assessments.
A new online portal means that forecourts can now update their site inspections and risk assessments immediately and continue to demonstrate that they are working towards the highest standards.
Geoff has never stood still, and in 2005, he launched Suresite Card Services Ltd. Along with cards industry expert Nick Healy, now CEO of Suresite Group, the division was founded to give improved terms and services to retail petroleum forecourts to enable them to provide a secure and speedy service to their customers.
Suresite Card Services now supplies major oil company card processing schemes to over 1,500 dealer sites across the UK (almost 20% of the entire UK fuel retailer market) and processes over £3 billion of payments per annum. There is no doubt that this business has heavily influenced the retail fuel industry and it is now expanding into other non-fuel markets.
Suresite Training was founded in 2014 to offer both online and face-to-face health and safety training, with an emphasis on ensuring staff are proficient in the event of a hazard. Current online courses include Competent Persons, Safety on the Forecourt, Age Related Sales, Lone Working, Tobacco Retail and Basic First Aid. Courses are also available in respect of Data Protection – a growing need in today’s markets.
In 2015, Suresite Wetstock Ltd became the newest addition to the Suresite Group. Wetstock control is a fundamental element of safety for fuel sites, monitoring the storage and dispensing of explosive and flammable petroleum products, and Suresite Wetstock’s real-time reconciliation process sets it apart from any other provider.
As the UK’s first truly real-time wetstock fuel monitoring service, Suresite helps site owners save money and reduce maintenance costs. Today, Suresite Wetstock supports fuel stations across Poland, Scandinavia, Estonia, and Latvia, in addition to the U.K and Republic of Ireland.
Suresite Group’s Chief Business Development Officer, Keith Bevan, submitted the nomination, giving it the title ‘Geoff Oldham – Dedicated to Safety in Retail Petroleum’. He said: “Geoff has never stood still. He continues to look for new avenues and improvement in all the products Suresite Group offers, ensuring that customers receive value, the best service, and attain the highest levels of legislation compliance.”
All at Suresite Group and the petroleum industry salute you Geoff!