The first meeting of the ‘IIR Working Group on Refrigeration Safety’ will be at the Gustav Lorentzen Conference in Valencia (18-20 June 2018).
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Alexander Cohr Pachai, who works at Johnson Controls, is set to chair an International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) safety group.
Pachai, who is also a member of the Replenishment Task Force of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) – an advisory body to the Montreal Protocol Parties’ Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee (RTOC) – will hold the first meeting of the ‘IIR Working Group [WG] on Refrigeration Safety’ at the Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants in Valencia (18-20 June 2018).
“It is about all refrigerants, no discrimination,” Pachai told this website. “The original WG was going to look [at] historic data but many things have changed since 2004. Many new refrigerants have come to the market and with them many new properties that we need to understand and learn to handle safely.”
Safe working conditions will also be looked at. “The most common accidents [are] falls from heights,” he explained.
The working group aims to compile experiences with natural, as well as new alternative refrigerants, by:
<li>Creating, examining and analysing an international incidents and accidents database.</li>
<li>Developing practical processes and procedures to put in place for the safe handling of refrigerants.</li>
<li>Publishing guidelines for the safe handling of and working with refrigerants based on the collected data.</li>
“The aim is to increase awareness of working conditions but also about the standards covering safety in the machine room and when you are working with refrigeration systems,” he said.
“Far too many think that servicing a refrigeration or AC [air-conditioning] system does not require any education. Nothing could be more wrong,” he added.
The WG hopes to communicate the information it compiles at conferences and by using the IIR network.
“Many might get the impression that it is only about flammable refrigerants, but it is very important for me to say that it is about all refrigerants,” Cohr Pachai says. “CO2 is becoming a widely used refrigerant in supermarkets.”
“Most cases of refrigerant release happen during service and maintenance. If we could avoid this, then the number of accidents would be much less,” he explains.
Participants in the WG must be either IIR commission members, private members or representatives of corporate members. Those who are not IIR members but have relevant technical expertise can participate.
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