Complying with new refrigerant legislation
A way to comply with future refrigerants legalisation — Stephen Crocker of REFCOM
A call for anyone hiring air-conditioning contractors to exercise caution in the light of possible industry confusion about refrigerant-handling legislation and the reclassification of refrigerants as hazardous waste has been made by REFCOM, the register of companies competent to handle refrigerants in the UK. Stephen Crocker, REFCOM scheme co-ordinator, says, ‘The recent reclassification of fluorinated refrigerant gases as hazardous waste is an immediate driver for change in the way our industry handles refrigerants. ‘These gases are subject to more regulatory governance, and handlers are required to check all refrigerant movement comprehensively and be registered with the Environment Agency. ‘In addition, a national mandatory refrigerant-handling scheme is closer and has wider-reaching implications than people think.’ Mr Crocker warns that if a mandatory national scheme for refrigerant handling is introduced to the UK, end users such as facilities managers will need to guarantee the contractors they hire safely and legally, ensuring minimum emissions. REFCOM considers it is vital that any hired contractor can prove it operates under fully auditable procedures, which is a condition of membership of the scheme. Only contractors that can provide comprehensive cylinder, engineer and maintenance logs and details of supplier transactions on request should be selected. The REFCOM scheme is already aligned with Government initiatives, so facilities managers and others hiring contractors will know that they will get the best services from those they employ and prepare themselves well for potential legislation.