UK: With increased use of flammable refrigerants, the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) has warned facilities managers to ensure they have the necessary DSEAR risk assessments in place.
DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres) regulations were introduced to protect people from risks to their safety in the workplace, and to members of the public who may be put at risk by work activity.
When originally written in 2002, DSEAR only applied to A2 and A3 refrigerants defined as flammable (hazard classes H220 and H221) but with the introduction of class A2L refrigerants they also come under the scope of this regulation. However, the regulation was amended in 2015 to include gases under pressure (hazard class H280), which means all classes of refrigerant are within the scope of DSEAR, and hence all refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump installations need to be compliant.
FETA says it has concerns that “employers”, as defined within the regulation, may not be fully aware of their legal responsibilities under DSEAR, as regards risk assessments.
“It has come to FETA’s attention that there may be facilities’ managers in the UK unaware that following revisions to the regulation a DSEAR Risk Assessment is a legal requirement that applies where any air conditioning, refrigeration or heat pump is installed and is required in any situation where there is gas under pressure, not only when the refrigerant is A2L or flammable,” said FETA commercial manager Martyn Cooper.
FETA has produced a full guidance document on risk assessments for compliance with DSEAR which can be downloaded here.