'Error of judgement' blamed for woman's petrol soaking

5:57 pm on 27 April 2017

A failure by Z Energy staff to shut off a broken pump led to a woman being soaked with petrol in February, an investigation has found.

Ingrid Carson was covered in petrol by a broken pump at this Z Energy on Kapiti Road in Paraparaumu.

Ingrid Carson was covered in petrol by a broken pump at this Z Energy on Kapiti Road in Paraparaumu. Photo: Supplied

Ingrid Carson was covered in petrol when she tried to fill up a small can using the damaged pump, at the Z Energy service station on Kapiti Rd in Paraparaumu.

The pump had been damaged a short time earlier by a car that drove off with the nozzle attached.

The company said a staff member made an "error of judgement" by not closing the pump straight away.

It said staff at the site showed an incomplete understanding of the risks posed by fuel.

Z Energy retail sales manager Steve Rea said it had taken the accident very seriously, and would make a number of changes across its stations nation-wide.

He said 2500 staff members would go through updated training next month to learn more about how to respond to fuel spills on people.

It would be made mandatory to immediately make sure - as the first priority - that damaged pumps could not be used by members of the public.

"One of the big things that we are instructing all of our staff and sites to do is, if an incident like this was to occur, is to actually shut down the pump... so in this case that would have actually prevented the incident from occurring," Mr Rea said.

The company would also make emergency changes of clothing available at all 205 of its stations.

It would be sharing its findings with the industry so other companies could learn from the accident.

Ms Carson said she met with management staff yesterday, and she was happy with the outcome.

"We had a very good meeting... very thorough," she said.

"I wish it hadn't have happened... but they've been awfully apologetic and, you know, all the way along my son and I have said we didn't want anyone to get sacked.

"We just wanted correct training done so that it never happens again... so good outcomes."

She said she now felt confident enough to use the station again.