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48 · Feature

D & D Autumn 08

THE END OF RE-ENDING?

The re-ending of damaged hydraulic hoses was once commonplace across the UK demolition sector. But with the advent of higher pressure applications and attachments and a greater focus on site safety, it is a practice that is no longer viable, according to Pirtek UK director Alistair Wiggins.

It is a sight that is all too familiar to the demolition industry. A contract is in full swing and a high reach excavator is using a powerful pulveriser to tackle some demanding crushing work when suddenly and without warning, a hose blows, bringing the job to a shuddering halt. The temptation at a time like this to “make do and mend” with a re-ended hose is enormous. But not only is this practice unsafe, it is in effect illegal.

  • FALSE ECONOMY

On the face of it, re-ending is a fast and economical solution but it is, without exception, a false economy. “As hose replacement specialists, we don’t endorse the practice of hose re-ending or the re-use of swage fittings.

We recommend that a new hose assembly is made up, based upon the specific requirements of the application,” says Pirtek’s Alistair Wiggins. “Re-ended hoses are prone to failure and the unexpected release of hydraulic oil under pressure can cause considerable damage and serious injury. In addition, the practice is in effect an illegal practice in Europe as well as being contrary to BS EN 982.” BS EN 982 states in paragraph 5.3.4.3 'Flexible hose assemblies shall not be constructed from hoses which have been previously used as part of the hose assembly. Flexible hose assemblies shall fulfill all performance requirements specified in the appropriate European and/or international standard(s).’ BS ISO 4413 is another international standard and, again, it is clear in its intent to outlaw the re-ending of hydraulic hoses. Paragraph 9.5 Hose assemblies states ‘Hose assemblies shall be constructed from hoses which have not been previously used in operation as part of another hose assembly’.

Whilst a re-ended hose may look perfectly good and pass a pressure test, there are a number of critical factors which must be taken into account. The first is degradation. All hoses degrade over time. Chemical changes in the hose compound mean that cutting and inserting a new end can alter the molecular structure rendering it weaker than it should be. The angle of any internal reinforcement can also change to the detriment of the hose integrity when a new end is inserted.

C O M P E N S A T I O N C L A I M Another critical issue is hose

length.

Cutting a hose will

reduce its length to below

that installed by the original manufacturer with the result that it can be over stressed when refitted. According to Wiggins, the decision to re-end a hydraulic hose is made principally on the grounds of economy, re- ending being about one-third the cost of a new hose. However, it may have legal repercussions. “In the event of damage or injury caused by the failure of a re-ended hose, liability is usually perceived to be with whoever instructed the re-ending,

Wiggins adds.

“The

possibility of compensation claims cannot be ignored, nor the environmental health actions which often follow events involving failure of hydraulic hose lines.”

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