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REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE updates low GWP guidance with safety focus

Health and safety risk assessment best practice for handling low GWP refrigerant has been added to broader industry guidance after review

The EU-funded ‘REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE’ project, which promotes the use of lower GWP refrigerants such as ammonia, carbon dioxide and low flammables, has published updated guidance on its website around assessing health and safety risks from switching products.

English-language versions of nine low-GWP refrigerant learning modules that consider issues such as safety and risk management, maintenance and repair of systems that handle lower GWP, are included as part of the guidance.

A team consisting of 15 organisations partnered with the project, which includes trade associations and academia, have introduced the updates after reviewing the contents of existing learning materials that were first developed in 2014.

A new module focusing on safety and risk assessment that highlights precautions when handling flammable, high pressure or toxic refrigerant with a low GWP has been added as a result of the review, which identified a need in the market for such advice.

Additional language versions of the guidance are now expected to be made.

REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE said in a statement, “To help raise skills levels and awareness across the whole of the EU, the materials will be translated into an additional 12 different EU languages over the coming months and will be supported by a free e-learning site, which will have more interactive resources and links.”

Topics covered in the latest guidance include:

  • Introducing alternative refrigerants
  • Safety and risk management
  • Designing systems using alternative refrigerant
  • Containment and leak direction
  • Maintaining and repairing systems used with alternatives
  • Retrofitting systems with low GWP gas
  • Legal obligations checklist
  • Measuring the financial and environmental impacts of leakage
  • Tools and guidance on undertaking site surveys

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