AIRAH have released their ‘Safety in the HVAC&R Industry’ report, detailing the results of an independent survey carried out to discover and review safety issues within the industry.
According to their media release, AIRAH conducted the five week survey last year with the intention of “reaching out to technical service providers on the topic of safety in the HVAC&R industry.” The focus of the report is highlighting the safety issues that were pointed out by the 79 survey respondents.
The report states that the survey asked respondents: what sector of the industry they work in, where they are based, what concerns they have about their safety in the industry, what the biggest safety issue is facing their sector, what safety issues they encounter day-to-day, what impact these issues have on them and on others, what they think the safety issues are caused by, what they would suggest to change or improve the issues, whether they think the safety of the industry is changing, what they think is causing change in industry safety considerations, and what they think are the best ways of getting the word out about improving safety.
The report also states that the respondents came from a variety of backgrounds, which included but were not limited to: refrigeration and air conditioning technicians, installation and commissioning contractors, service and maintenance contractors, TAFE trainers and students, manufacturers and suppliers, facilities managers, and compliance and WHS auditors.
The report states that 77 percent of the respondents indicated that they have safety concerns, just one percent of survey respondents believe the industry is totally safe, and that 82 percent believe safety risks in the HVAC&R industry are increasing.
The report also reveals the four main areas that respondents felt were the biggest safety issues in the industry—quality and training, access, working fluids, and electrical hazards.
The report goes on to outline these issues in detail and provide suggested solutions. A suggested solution for the quality and training issues is the implementation of national licensing, while solutions for the access issues are more enforcement and communication of WHS and NCC requirements, and having designers allow future access in their designs. Suggested solutions for the working fluids and electrical hazards issues included, having licensing cover all refrigerants and systems, and introducing individual certification requirements for all RAC work, respectively.
According to their media release, one of the next steps that AIRAH have recommended is “an industry wide strategy to create a firm direction to improve safety standards and outcomes.”
AIRAH’s ‘Safety in the HVAC&R Industry’ report can be found here.
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