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Hose assembly skills: Train to gain

03 July 2017

The BFPA (British Fluid and Power Association) has been leading industry discussions on safety, best practice and profitability for decades and is known for setting the highest standard in terms of training and education. Recently, the benefits of taking part in BFPA courses have been confirmed by a leading industry figure from Hydroscand 

A longstanding member of the BFPA, Hydroscand provides assembly and distribution of hoses and fluid components through its 13 branches and more than 400 resellers. All members of its staff receive hose training through BFPA’s Training Academy. 

Suzanne Day, MD at Hydroscand, was no exception and she attended a two-day Hose Assembly Skills Course: “I wanted to sit alongside other members of staff so that I could evaluate what others were learning, as well as increase my own knowledge. I was very impressed with the training concepts, and the delivery was undoubtedly first class”. 

The Hose Assembly Skills Course is carried out in both classroom and shop floor environments and covers theoretical elements and practical knowledge. The training programme is designed to bring attendees up to a high level of knowledge and enable them to develop the skills needed to become specialist hydraulic hose technicians. 

The course also includes an assessment of the candidates’ skills and understanding. A personalised course book, together with certification of skills, achievement and registration on the BFPA National database, give both attendee and employer confidence that the correct methods and culture are being adopted.

Safety first

“The BFPA course was an eye opener for me personally as it really drove home the importance of safe handling of hoses, especially in relation to fluid injection injuries,” said Suzanne Day. “The safety of our employees and customers is always our first priority, but we also need to maintain high productivity, so this type of course is essential to our long-term business goals. As a result of attending the course, I have ordered copies of all of the safety posters and booklets to further promote safety through knowledge and training."

Suzanne Day adds: “ The BFPA trainer is indeed an encyclopaedia of a man and we have so much to learn from him. All the information presented was structured in easily digestible chunks that provide the essential know-how our employees need. Furthermore, the course was interactive, people were made to feel at ease, and everyone was able to ask questions and engage with the presenter.”

After meetings with Martin Kingsbury, membership director at BFPA, Day decided to further strengthen the relationship between Hydroscand and the trade body. “Sometimes the pressure of fluids going through these hoses is high enough to kill a person or create serious damage, yet there is no legislation regulating usage and handling”, said Day. “In the light of this, we at Hydroscand have decided to work with the BFPA and lobby the decision makers of this country to create sound laws that will ultimately rid our industry of rogue hose assemblers”. 

Another key issue for the BFPA focuses on selecting and training apprentices to help bridge the skills gap in industry. Apprenticeship providers require a course that can give learners fundamental knowledge and appropriate accreditation. With the support of the BFPA and Government officials, leading industry figures will look at getting apprenticeship programmes off the ground and creating a series of qualifications allied to them. 

“I have seen at first hand the benefit in investing in young people, as some of our best employees at Hydroscand came in with few skills. Now they’re specialists we couldn’t do without”, said Day. 

Suzanne Day adds that training is essential for the business: "It’s crucial for safe working as well as helping productivity and aiding effective parts identification. 

“When someone comes in with a failed hose assembly, we can step up to challenge and find the right components and offer the best solutions and advice to avoid costly downtime and safety issues. This is why we are not only recommending BFPA’s training to our industry peers, we’re also encouraging our customers to sign up; we know that it will be a win-win situation for everyone.”