What matters

Mobile phone use FAQs

10/09/2018 - Safety first

Our understanding of risks change with time and rules should reflect this, which is why Z has reviewed and is trialling a change in policy on the use of mobile phones on its forecourts.

Can I use my mobile phone at any service station?

We are currently allowing customers to use their mobile phones at Z service stations in Napier ahead of a potential rule change later this year at all Z stations. By limiting the rule change to start with only to some stations, we can understand how customers will react and ensure we have the right safety messaging in place with regards to distractions.

The risk assessment Z completed to allow this trial is specific to our service stations and the products we sell. We can’t comment on the other service stations, but they will need to assess the risk for themselves.

Is it safe using my mobile phone while refuelling?

Z has conducted an independent risk assessment using external specialists and the findings show that the use of mobile phones as an ignition source poses no risk to our customers. Though the assessment shows that these don't pose an ignition risk; they can distract you from what you are doing, which can result in spilled fuel or not noticing traffic on the forecourt, so please use them safely.

How did you assess the risk?

Before we change anything at Z we conduct a risk assessment to understand what the risk of the change may be and how we will need to manage it. Due to the type of change, we decided to do two risk assessments. One was completed by Z’s internal HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment) team and the other by an independent safety consulting company.

Why aren’t other petrol stations doing the same thing?

We can’t comment on the other service stations, but they will need to assess the risk for themselves.

Why are the rules changing?

As mobile phones have evolved, the understanding of the risk they pose has changed. This gave Z the opportunity to reassess their risk in a service station environment. At Z we’re all about the customer experience, and we want to provide a seamless experience where customers can safely use the tools that they use every day when shopping at Z.

What’s changed to make it safe to use mobile phones at a service station?

Since their introduction, the number of mobile phones has grown rapidly each year, to a point that in New Zealand there are more phones in use than there are people. The design of mobile devices has changed over the years, batteries are more efficient and are now regularly enclosed, and phones are commonly manufactured to be dust or water resistant. The use of mobile phones as an ignition source poses no risk to our customers.

Is Z the first service station to allow use of mobile phones?

There are examples of this type of technology being used in overseas markets. Other service stations would need to complete their own risk assessment before making any decisions to allow mobile phone use on the forecourt.

Is it ever unsafe to use my mobile phone?

Yes, if it is distracting you from paying attention to moving traffic, or if you are driving.

The use of mobile phones on the forecourt is also restricted during a large spill due to increased risks in this scenario. If an emergency does occur, then our staff will take over so please follow their instructions.

Why was I told to turn my phone off by a staff member / customer?

Allowing the use of mobile phones at Z service stations will take some time for people to get used to. If you’re talking about a specific incident, please call us on 0800 474 355.

I want to know more about this, who should I contact?

Call us on 0800 474 355 or email general@z.co.nz.