On Thursday the NZPFU advised members not to recommence hose testing. FENZ had issued a notice lifting the ban of host testing despite the pending investigation into a serious injury with amended hose testing procedures.

The NZPFU had not been provided with any information to support the recommencement of hose testing pending the outcome of that investigation.

FENZ has now supplied information including the checks undertaken before the updated pressure testing instructions were released, as well as notification of city areas with low hose supplies that are at risk of not having sufficient tested hose to respond if hose testing is not resumed.

We have been informed that hose stocks in Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Invercargill are very low.

  • In these cities where hose stocks are critical, and there is no other option (including being provided with additional hose from other stocks or areas is exhausted), then the NZPFU agrees hose testing can commence only if the amended pressure testing instructions are followed strictly to the letter.
  • This is not support for wholesale hose testing as we are firmly of the view that we should take all precautions pending the outcome of the inquiry into the serious injury.
  • Even in these four cities where hose stocks are low, if the amended testing instructions cannot be strictly complied with, hose testing cannot commence.

If you are not in one of the above listed cities then we do not support pressure hose testing commencing.

We realise the level of hose stocks will change and therefore FENZ will need to notify of any critical areas before we support hose testing in other areas.

We continue to emphasise your health and safety is paramount and that a precautionary approach must be taken. If in doubt, don’t hose test.

  • The updated safety notice (attached) must be followed pedantically.
  • If, for any reason the instructions cannot be followed to the letter, pressure hose testing must not be undertaken.
  • The updated instructions will eliminate some stations from pressure hose testing as they will not have the required space to do so.
  • Other stations will not have the ability to appropriately tether the hose at the branch end and therefore pressure hose testing must not be undertaken.

If in doubt – don’t pressure hose test until you have sought advice from FENZ Special Risks, Safety and USAR Manager Ian Duncan, your health and safety representative, or your Local/National union rep.

Attached are the two documents that FENZ have provided that must be read and understood before any hose testing is to commence:

Don’t rely on your previous procedures. Take the time to read and understand the Updated Pressure Testing National Notice and refresh your understanding of the Hoses Technical Manual. This must be done before any pressure hose testing commences.

We will update Members on the outcome of the investigation once a report is received. We have dedicated members on that investigation team who are working hard to ensure your safety is paramount.

Should you have any concerns please contact your Local or the National President Ian Wright or the National Secretary Wattie Watson.

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary


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