FETA issues new refrigerant risk assessment guidance


14 March 2019
Mike Nankivell
The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) is issuing new guidance on risk assessments for working with refrigerants.

With the increasing use of refrigerants with various levels of flammability, FETA says it is important for the industry to understand how to comply with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR). The regulation was amended in 2015 to include gases under pressure, which means that ALL refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) installations need to be compliant. It therefore places requirements to assess the risk for such substances (refrigerants etc) and puts into place suitable control and mitigation measures.
Dangerous substances are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion or corrosion of metal. They can be found in nearly all workplaces and include things such as solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, dusts from machining and sanding operations, dusts from foodstuffs, pressurised gases and substances corrosive to metal.
Following a joint meeting between FETA, the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last autumn, it was agreed that FETA would lead the project to pull together appropriate guidance, and this document is the first fruit of that work.
Mike Nankivell, chairman of the FETA A2L refrigerant working group, which has co-ordinated this project, said: “Under HSE regulations there is a duty to ensure that neither staff nor members of the public are put at risk in their place of work. This easy-to-follow guidance has been produced by FETA to help employers carry out their risk assessments correctly and ensure the safety of all parties within their workplace.

 “The guidance should be read in conjunction with the regulation itself along with the HSE’s own Approved Code of Practice (ACOP).”
The publication has been reviewed by the HSE prior to issue. The intention is to follow up this guide with more specific, application-based risk assessment guidance, covering a range of typical refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump installations to help the industry in complying with this regulation.
The new document will be available to download from the “Publications” section of the FETA website  from March 18.
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