BFPA calls for an end to hose re-ending
British Fluid Power Association chairman calls for zero tolerance towards hose re-ending
THE British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) has this week condemned hose re-ending in the mining and quarrying sector as the Association launches its ‘Choose Q for Quality’ campaign, highlighting quality-approved BFPA members.
‘The pandemic has us all under extra strain and I know that many company owners or workers across the industry will be looking for ways to save money – but let me tell you now, re-ending hoses to save a few pounds is not the answer,’ commented Nigel Thomason, distributor chairman of the BFPA.
‘That’s why we’ve launched our latest campaign. We want to make sure that when you have a hose replaced, it’s done by one of our quality-approved suppliers who categorically will refuse to re-end hose.’
The BFPA Approved Hose Assemblies Scheme and the associated Q ‘Quality’ logo sets practice guidelines for hose manufacturing, distribution and fitting. Members who sell and fit hoses in the scheme must meet strict criteria to carry the ‘Q’ mark, a sign of guaranteed quality, and to never practice hose re-ending.
Hydraulic hoses are found on equipment across the sector, including excavators and dumptrucks, are subject to all types of weather conditions and can get accidentally damaged on site. A pinhole leak in a hose can eject fluid at speeds in excess of 180m (600ft) per second, almost as fast as a bullet, depending on the pressure it is under.
In Mr Thomason’s experience, few professionals within the industry fully understand the dangers of pressure systems. A typical car tyre is around 32 PSI, and a pressure of just 100 PSI (or 6.9 bar) is enough to puncture the skin.
But it is quite normal for fluid to be under 2,000 PSI (168 bar) of pressure in a hydraulic hose on a vehicle, and it can be as much as 6,000 PSI (414 bar). Oil under this much pressure will go straight through protective clothing, pierce the skin and can lead to severe, life-changing injuries from just one tiny-looking pin prick.
According to Mr Thomason, his type of injury can be caused as a direct result of hose re-ending, which fundamentally changes the structural make-up of the hose, leading to damage and deterioration.
‘Re-ending hoses is a dangerous practice which can lead to fatal injuries – ultimately you’re chancing with a liquid bullet,’ Mr Thomason continued. ‘Cost is the biggest driver in re-ending, but it’s the integrity of the whole assembly that’s ruined when you do that, not just the end of a hose. Re-ending increases the risk of failure and is never covered by the hose manufacturer’s warranty, so it really is a false economy.’
With COVID restrictions placing the sector under much greater financial pressure, the BFPA is highlighting its campaign again now to caution against the temptation to re-end rather than use a ‘Q’ scheme approved supplier.
Company owners should check that their current and future suppliers are a member of the scheme, which is now easier to do through the updated Hydraulic Hose Safety website (hydraulichosesafety.co.uk) with its new ‘Find A Supplier’ section.
‘Choosing a supplier that carries the ‘Q’ mark ensures efficiency. If you think about it, if your equipment is fitted with the correct hose, in the right way, by a highly qualified individual, it is simply less likely to fail. This means less downtime waiting for repairs, which in turn increases productivity and projects are completed faster. And most importantly, it allows company owners to sleep easy at night, knowing that the risk of a high-pressure injury from faulty practice has been eliminated,’ added Mr Thomason.
‘Do not re-end hose’ posters, counter display units and information cards are being provided for all scheme members to help reinforce the message with end-users who still consider opting for this dangerous practice.