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Need for flammables licensing highlighted by ‘stocktake’ of standards, regulations and laws

Lawyer with flammable warning sign
Weir Legal & Consulting special counsel Krista Weymouth
Krista Weymouth

A Flammable Refrigerants Review project being undertaken by Weir Legal & Consulting has found 143 different standards, regulations and laws relating to flammable refrigerants during a ‘stocktake’ of legal instruments that control the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration industries across every state and territory in Australia.

Presenting the research results at a recent CCN Live conference organised by industry publication Climate Control News, Weir Legal & Consulting special counsel, Krista Weymouth recommended a national licensing reform to include flammable refrigerants.

“This industry needs to give serious consideration to a licensing regime that covers flammables,” said Weymouth, who is the lead researcher on the Flammable Refrigerants Review project.

Due to the sheer number of standards, regulations and laws that exist to variously cover flammable refrigerants across Australia, Weir Legal & Consulting managing director, Bronwyn Weir, said the project had uncovered a lot of duplication among states and territories as well as at a commonwealth level.

Weir Legal & Consulting managing director Bronwyn Weir
Bronwyn Weir

“Duplication brings inconsistencies but this is bound to happen because we operate across a lot of different jurisdictions,” Weir said, explaining that the project broke down how the various legal instruments apply across the supply chain from automotive to recovery.

These include workplace and occupational health and safety, dangerous goods and electrical safety plus licensing controls, consumer law obligations and building regulations.

“There are a lot of licenses making it confusing and inefficient for compliance,” said Weir.

“We don’t need more licensing but it could be more effective if consolidated … The reason licensing is a good opportunity is because it is a nice vehicle for regulators it gives you an idea who is operating which makes it ideal for compliance.

“If there is any room for reform there is a need for a more specific application of flammable laws.”