Australia's first formal training course on how to handle class A2/A2L flammable refrigerants was held last week at the Sydney headquarters of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioners Australia (MHIAA).
Although technicians have been working with R32 for a number of years and over a million units have been installed in Australia there has been no formal training available to address this critical skills gap.
It was time to take the lead on this important issue, according to Adrian Brown, the general manager of sales & planning at MHIAA.
“This training is vitally important for industry which is why we formed a partnership with the Superior Training Centre to make this course available to technicians,” he said.
“All of the technicians here today will receive an accredited unit of competency once they pass the course.”
Superior Training Centre quality assurance manager, Ben Peters, said its all about safety.
“Its important for technicians to know how to safely handle, store and transport these refrigerants,” Peters said.
“There really is no room for complacency; knowledge is life.”
When developing the course, Peters said the training centre liaised with the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) and manufacturers to ensure the content was correct.
He said the course includes information on how to correctly recover R32 and how to recognise different ratings and cylinder labels for this class of refrigerant, as well as emergency procedures for safety in the workplace.
Marshall Air technician, Matt Johnson, said R32 was introduced after he completed his Certificate III qualifications.
“The aim is to get up to date with R32 because there hasn't been a lot of information available,” Johnson said.
“By addressing this knowledge gap it benefits the business and most importantly, my customers.”
Also in attendance was Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association president (RACCA), Kevin O'Shea.
He said RACCA will be working with the Superior Training Centre to rollout the course nationally.
“We are planning a national roadshow to reach as many technicians as possible,” O'Shea said.
“Employers really do have a duty of care to ensure staff can work safely and competently with new refrigerants.”