4 Jun 2009

Coolstore guidelines issued by engineers' group

1:46 pm on 4 June 2009

New guidelines for the design and construction of coolstores have been released by the professional engineers body which says they could help to save lives.

Last year firefighter Derek Lovell died when he was caught in an explosion at the IcePak Coolstore at Tamahere near Hamilton. Seven other firefighters were injured in the blast.

The Institution of Professional Engineers says because New Zealand economy is dependent on the refrigeration and export of agricultural products, coolstores are very common and several are built every year.

Chairperson Gerry Coates says there have been several coolstore fires since the 1970s, and the guidelines are designed to reduce the chance of these occurring.

He says there should be co-operation across many sectors in order to minimise confusion about regulations, so tragedies such as the fire at Tamahere can be avoided.