AIRAH has released an online, updated version of its Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide. The resource – developed by independent organisations and stakeholders with support from the Department of the Environment and Energy – can help refrigeration technicians, apprentices and other stakeholders understand the range of skills and knowledge required to work safely with flammable refrigerants.
AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, says that the HFC phase-down, which officially began in Australia on January 2018, has seen a switch to flammable low-global-warming-potential (low-GWP) synthetic and natural refrigerants.In turn, industry professionals must be fully aware of equipment that uses them, and the risks associated.
“Many HVAC&R professionalsare accustomed to working with the non-flammable refrigerants that were widely used in the past,” Gleeson says.
“We need to ensure that, as the use of alternative refrigerants picks up, our industry is properly equipped to work safely, efficiently and professionally with any refrigerant they encounter. And that’s where the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide has a crucial role to play.”
The guide was originally published in 2013 in hard copy form. Over the past five years more than 700people have received training at free seminars around Australia. Yet AIRAH also recognised the need to explore more innovative ways of delivering the information.
“The face-to-face delivery model had its limits, so rather than them coming to us, we’re taking it to them,” says AIRAH’s Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “The new online format allows people to access the resource whenever they have time. We’ve broken the material down into ‘smoko-sized’ chunks of around 20 minutes, and users can leave it and pick it back up to make it as flexible as possible.”
The online Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guidealso incorporates audio and “test your knowledge” tasks.
It has been updated to refer to standards AS/NZS ISO 817 and AS/NZS 5149 series, which have superseded AS/NZS 1677. It also incorporates revisions to regulations that impact the application of flammable refrigerants.
AIRAH notes that the online resource is designed to raise awareness and refresh and complement existing knowledge. It is not a substitute for the detailed nationally endorsed technical training required to safely and productively work with flammable refrigerants.
To access the resource, go to