Aviation fuel mini-bowser
The mini-bowser was a 2000 litre capacity elliptical tank designed for carrying aviation fuel. It was mounted on a double wheeled trailer with a diesel driven pump attached to the front A-frame. There were concerns about:
- the fuel hoses and connections;
- possible lack of earthing continuity;
- risk of leakage;
- diesel pump that was not designed for safe use in hazardous atmospheres.
The following defects were identified that could have potentially resulted in an explosion.
- Ignition sources were present in close proximity to the fuel hoses.
- The diesel motor was not designed for safe use in hazardous atmospheres.
- The pump was essentially designed for water and there was potential for a major fuel leak over the pump body and the unprotected diesel motor.
- There was the potential for the pump to run dry in service resulting in frictional heating of bearings and possible ignition of fuel vapour.
- The couplings on the flexible hoses were of an unsuitable type and did not provide the necessary electrical connection to prevent the potential for ignition by spark.
- The unsuitable hose couplings would not give reliable joint security.
What action should you take?
If you are a user of such equipment you should:
- Ensure the equipment is appropriate to use in flammable atmospheres.
- Follow relevant legislation and guidance on the safe use of such equipment.
- Have procedures in place to maintain the equipment.
- Have in place safe operating procedures including relevant training for people using the equipment.
If you are a manufacturer or supplier of such equipment you should:
- Ensure that it complies with relevant legislation and British Standards.
- BS EN 1915-1:2001 applies to basic safety standards for Aircraft Ground Support Equipment.
- BS EN 12312-5:2005 covers specific requirements for ‘Aircraft fuelling equipment’.