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F gases are fluorinated gases that include HCFCs, HFCs and CFCs used in refrigerated applications and equipment, including air conditioning. Certain F gases have been proven to deplete the ozone layer, whilst others directly contribute to greenhouse gases associated with global warming. EU legislation has been put into place in order to limit the use of these gases, controlling how much F gas is released into the Earth’s atmosphere in an effort to protect the environment. Legally, air conditioning installations and equipment that contain more than 2.14kg (5 Tonnes CO2) of an F gas refrigerant should be leak checked once a year. If the system contains more than 24kg (50 Tonnes CO2) of F gas refrigerant, then they should be check checked every 6 months for leaks and damage by a contractor certified to work with F gases.
Owners of equipment that use and contain HFCs should, according to the legislation,
- Use qualified, specialist and appropriately trained contractors to repair, maintain, dispose of and service refrigerant and equipment
- Use any and all measures to help prevent refrigerant leaks
- Repair leaks as soon as they have been detected
Owners of equipment or systems that contain 2.4kg (5 Tonnes CO2) or more of an F gas refrigerant are under additional obligations, which include:
- Conducting regular, scheduled testing (annually, bi-annually or quarterly if a system meets the certain threshold) by qualified and certified contractors with the intention of identifying leaks
- Maintaining the appropriate records, detailing: the date of each leak check along with the results, the quantity and type of each refrigerant used, the quantity, type and equivalent CO2 in Tonnes of each refrigerant which has been disposed of, recovered from or added to the system and the identity and details of the company and contractor who carried out the maintenance or service
Integrated Compliance are qualified to carry out F gas testing. If necessary, annual F gas checks can easily be incorporated into a Planned Maintenance Contract.
How do I carry out a Legionella risk assessment?
The purpose of carrying out a risk assessment is to identify and assess any risks in your water system. The responsible person should understand your water systems and any associated equipment, in order to conclude whether the system is likely to create a risk from exposure to legionella, and should be able to identify whether:
- water is stored or re-circulated as part of your system
- the water temperature in some or all parts of the system is between 20–45 °C
- there are sources of nutrients such as rust, sludge, scale and organic matters
- conditions are present to encourage bacteria to multiply
- it is possible for water droplets to be produced and, if so, whether they could be dispersed over a wide area, eg showers and aerosols from cooling towers
- it is likely that any of your employees, residents, visitors etc are more susceptible to infection due to age, illness, a weakened immune system etc and whether they could be exposed to any contaminated water droplets
Your risk assessment should include:
- management responsibilities, including the name of competent person and a description of your system;
- potential sources of risk;
- any controls in place to control risks;
- monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures;
- records of the monitoring results, inspections and checks carried out;
- arrangements to review the risk assessment regularly
If you decide that the risks are insignificant, your assessment is complete. You may not need take any further action at this stage but you should review the assessment regularly in case anything changes in your system.find out more