BFPDA Launches Changes to Approved Hose Assemblies Scheme

27 Jan 2020

Over 50 people attended BFPDA’s Approved Hose Assemblies Scheme Conference on 28 November 2019 at the AMTC in Coventry which saw the launch of a series of improvements to the existing scheme, all aimed at raising standards of quality and health and safety in the fluid power industry and further developing the BFPDA’s “kite mark” of approval.

The BFPDA Approved Hose Assemblies Scheme centres around the “D8: Quality Control Procedures and Certification Requirements for BFPDA Distributors” reference document against which fixed facilities are measured in a biennial audit carried out by an independent auditor. Among other improvements, the following key changes will be introduced over the next year (2020):

  • All of a scheme member’s fixed locations / facilities will be included in the audited scheme
  • The scheme now includes some elements which are MANDATORY
  • Evidence of suitable and regular training of all technicians will be a requirement of the scheme

Martin Kingsbury, BFPA’s Training and Membership Director, also referenced the next stage of the scheme development which would be to incorporate a similar audited requirement for mobile vehicles / workshops and eventually on-line hose assembly schemes too. A new document (along similar lines to the D8) is currently being written and will be called: “D12: Quality Control Requirements for Mobile Workshop”.

Presentations followed from Jim Martin of Hydraskills, John Savage (BFPA Education & Training Committee Chairman), Steve Worth (Jaguar LandRover), Paul Grady (Health & Safety Executive HSE) and Andy Dickens (Interpump Fluid Solutions), all of which expanded on the theme of the importance of an educated, well trained and competent workforce.

Following the event, Paul Richardson, Group Business Development Director of R and G Fluid Power Group commented: “I am particularly impressed with the proactive approach the BFPA is undertaking in pushing for a mandatory standard of competence for all companies manufacturing hydraulic hose assemblies. R&G will ensure all companies within the Group are BFPA approved for Hose Assembly as a minimum. Our company is also very interested in the whole Minimum Educational Requirements (MER) for our staff who are working on hydraulic systems. Whilst all the presenters were excellent, I was particularly interested in the speaker from the HSE and the fact that his team of inspectors are trained to BFPA standards. This resonated with us and I think it is fair to say that it becomes a ‘ no-brainer’ for us to ensure that our staff are trained and can demonstrate competence to an industry standard that is recognised and endorsed by the HSE.

Contractors of all disciplines have to be able to provide evidence of training and competency in their role before they are allowed on-site. However I suspect that hydraulic hose repairers fly under the radar yet I am certain that when I raise this with the stakeholders they will look to adopt a BFPA ‘kite-mark’ as a minimum for their project. So if it is the objective of the BFPA to push the ‘kite-mark’ at end-users I full support this approach and envisage it will be warmly received.”

This was only one of a number of enthusiastic responses from members in the room to all the presentations on the day. Everyone agreed that trained and competent staff hold the key to success of the scheme and should be a priority in order to ensure the highest quality of product and safest working practices in the industry.

BFPA will be arranging two further Hose Assemblies Scheme events in 2020 and would like to encourage any company assembling, buying or using hose assemblies to attend. If you would like more information on anything mentioned in this article, or would like to attend one of our 2020 Hose Assemblies Scheme conferences, please contact Martin Kingsbury