September 7, 2016 | Vol. 66, No. 17
Dear PEI Member:
On September 16, PEI will release a service technician aptitude test—the third and final tool in a major initiative to help members address the industry-wide shortage of qualified technicians.
The aptitude test is designed to be used in conjunction with PEI’s professionally produced service technician recruitment videos and a training course that teaches the basics new service technicians should master during their first few months of employment. The recruitment videos and training course were released this summer.
PEI partnered with California-based PSI Services LLC (PSI) to develop the aptitude test. Since 1946, PSI has been a leader in the development, administration and proctoring of selection and certification tests in various industries. PSI products are known for their accuracy and ease of use.
The aptitude test evaluates and scores job applicants against the key Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs) a person must have to succeed as a service technician in the fuel handling equipment industry. PSI developed the KSAOs through a rigorous scientific process that included input and feedback from some 40 PEI distributor members.
The aptitude tests, which cost $25 per applicant, are designed to be administered online at the PEI member’s place of business. Responses are scored automatically to give an immediate analysis of each applicant.
To explain how members can use the aptitude test to enhance their service technician recruitment efforts, PEI has scheduled two free 90-minute webinars—Friday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m. CDT and Tuesday, September 20 at 10:00 a.m. CDT. To register for either webinar, click on this link and select the day that works best for you. You will then receive instructions about how to join the webinar.
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CHANGES TO NFPA 30A SERVICE STATION CODE
The Technical Committee on Automotive and Marine Service Stations (30A Committee) of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) met last week in Savannah to discuss public comments and submit recommendations to amend NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages. Changes will be voted on by 30A Committee members later this year that will affect fire code provisions governing such things as mobile refueling, classified areas, impact valves, shop-fabricated aboveground tanks and repair garages. Here are the recommended changes that are expected to impact PEI members the most:
Mobile refueling. There was strong support among members of the 30A Committee to expand the language of the code to cover the emerging mobile fueling industry represented by such companies as Booster Fuels, Filld, Joule ReFuel, WeFuel, and Purple Services Inc. The 30A Committee was encouraged by code enforcement officials to provide new language to ensure the safety of mobile fueling operations and provide consistent application of the fire code provisions where these activities are occurring.
The 30A Committee determined in Savannah that its initial proposed language (February 3, 2016 TL) was not detailed enough for inclusion in the code. After hours of deliberation, the 30A Committee added much more detail to cover the different methods of delivery and to ensure mobile fueling operations from vehicles other than tank vehicles are safe. The new language is here.
Double-poppet shear valves. The committee is moving forward with a requirement in Section 6.3.9 to require a double-poppet emergency shutoff valve in the supply line at the base of each individual island-type dispenser or at the inlet of each overhead dispensing device. The committee agreed that a double-poppet valve provides an additional level of protection against fire because it retains liquid on both sides of the valve at its shear point.
Installation, calibration, maintenance and operation of storage tank systems. The committee is poised to add two new sections to NFPA 30A that will ensure storage tank systems are installed and maintained properly.
Spacing around aboveground storage tank when connected to a fuel dispenser. The committee has taken steps to clarify the language in NFPA 30A to reflect the diagram in Section 8.3.2. The code will now provide an exception for classified areas adjacent to a dispenser mounted on an aboveground storage tank: “Exception 2: For shop-fabricated secondary containment tanks used for the storing of Class 1 motor fuels, the extent of the Class 1 Division 2 location shall be limited to 18 inches from the tank shell.”
Separation of delivery vehicle from storage tank. The current language in Section 9.2.2 regarding the separation of the delivery vehicle from an underground storage tank was recognized as unenforceable by the committee. Changes were made to sections 18.104.22.168 through 22.214.171.124 to clarify the separation requirement.
A formal interpretation from the 30A Committee will be requested later this year by a representative of BP Global Fuels Technology. The interpretation will clarify what NFPA 70, NFPA 497 and NFPA 30A require from mobile devices used in a Class 1 area. The question is: “Does NFPA 30A paragraph 8.3.1 prohibit the use of personal electronic devices, within the Class 1, Division 2 hazardous location associated with a dispenser, for communicating with the fuel dispenser for payment, transaction, and other related business communications?”
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.