- BuildingDesign News - Construction / Services News Archives

Article Date: 30th January 2020

Space Air - Latest Update on Flammable R32 from IOR

Space Air Flammable R32 Image

The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) has released a new document that gives an overview of the Refrigeration Safety and Risk Assessment for Flammable Refrigerants. This paper focuses mainly on the A2L refrigerants which integrated into buildings. Risk Assessments must also include the effect of equipment with flammable refrigerants leaking or exploding in the proximity of a fire. Non-flammable refrigerants are considered suppressant.

In the UK, Parliament enacts legally binding Statutory Instruments (SI) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) acts as the regulatory body, responsible for their implementation.

The SI’s require equipment to be risk assessed by competent persons during its lifetime to ensure it continues to be safe to operate. The publications related to flammable refrigerants are:

• DSEAR The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations, 2002

• The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation 1998 (PUWER)

• The Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR)

However, whilst the legislation gives owners and users of flammable refrigeration equipment legally binding responsibilities, there is little direct guidance in the regulations as to the exact nature of these requirements. The HSE publishes approved codes of practice for the regulations but this still leaves an element of interpretation on how the requirements of legislation should be implemented.

The European Community (EC) for Standardisation publishes standards for flammable refrigeration systems that support the essential requirements of EU Directives. The UK has agreed that European standards are given the status of national standards and any conflicting national standards have been withdrawn. Whilst other similar standards, written by the likes of trade bodies or associations should be considered, the European standards requirements should be implemented. The European standards publications related to flammable refrigerants are:

• BS EN 378:2016 Refrigerating Systems & Heat Pumps – Safety & Environment Requirement (Parts 1-4)

• EN 60079:2015 Classification of Areas – Explosive Gas Atmospheres (Part 10-1)

When using the EN 378 standard, all four parts of the standard must be implemented and be used in the design and installation of flammable refrigeration systems. It is not adequate to just use part 1 on its own for determining maximum quantities, as parts 2 and 3 give the system and safety systems design requirements.

Whilst European standards are not legally binding, they are good practice requirements for safety systems. These good standards can be used to assist in the interpretation of how legislation compliance can be implemented and recognised by the courts.

The objective of this paper is to explain how to systematically approach the risk assessment of the flammable aspects of refrigerants in refrigeration systems to ensure compliance with the safety requirements of the legislation.

BuildingDesign Media © - BuildingDesign Portal | BuildingDesign Tenders