The National Ozone Unit at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is working to have local technicians of cooling equipment trained and licensed to handle the alternative substances to be used in refrigeration. Story Highlights Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), used as alternatives, are being eliminated and HCFC substitutes, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), will be phased down for preferred natural refrigerants. Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to which Jamaica is party, ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in air-conditioning and refrigeration have been phased out. The National Ozone Unit at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is working to have local technicians of cooling equipment trained and licensed to handle the alternative substances to be used in refrigeration.Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to which Jamaica is party, ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in air-conditioning and refrigeration have been phased out.Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), used as alternatives, are being eliminated and HCFC substitutes, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), will be phased down for preferred natural refrigerants.Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, Project Manager in the National Ozone Unit, Vivian Blake, said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is helping Jamaica implement the first stage of its Phase-out Management Programme of HCFCs.“We are examining what it is that is going to be necessary to put in place, the framework for the certification and licensing of our refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians, and that is work that is under way.“We have to ensure that with each coming generation of alternatives, our technicians who do the servicing and installation of cooling equipment have to be trained, because there are, with these new generation of gasses, health and safety concerns,” he noted.Already, Jamaica is ahead of the national target for the phase-out of HCFCs, with 55 metric tonnes of imports in 2018. The target was to reduce imports to 241 metric tonnes by 2025.The new generation of preferred gasses includes natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrocarbons such as propane and isobutane.Some of these are already on the Jamaican market, and while they are not ozone-depleting, they could have toxicity and flammability properties.“That is why you have to have trained individuals within the refrigeration/air-conditioning sector who do the installation and servicing of the equipment. There is always a risk in using chemicals, but these risks can be minimised with the due diligence that is applied in each and every case,” Mr. Blake said.
Focus FS, a leading provider of industrial worksite systems, has announced the release of its latest software product, Shift Rescue. The announcement happened during the 10th International Mine Rescue Competition (IMRC), hosted by Workplace Safety North and Ontario Mine Rescue, which took place this week in Sudbury, Ontario. Shift Rescue is an all-in-one under oxygen mine rescue incident application used to digitally capture incident data including team captain information, briefing officer reports, map viewing and mark-ups, photo sharing, activity alerting, and post-incident reporting.“Shift Rescue will significantly enhance and improve how information is collected and shared during an under oxygen Mine Rescue event,” says Nicole Darbaz, Director of Products and Marketing at Focus FS. “The system collects and distributes critical rescue information during both team training and live rescue events. Shift Rescue applies to mine rescue competitions such as IMRC, but most importantly, it’s been developed for annual mine rescue team training and real-life incidents.”The application is deployed on rugged tablets and is used underground where network connectivity may or may not be available. The information collected underground is shared with the briefing officer and control group above ground who assess the information and make time critical decisions.From August 19 to 26, 2016, 27 teams representing 13 nations competed in different events at the IMRC including an underground scenario, firefighting, first aid, and more. Focus FS with the help of Ontario Mine Rescue developed the Shift Rescue product to be deployed and used during the competition.“We could not have chosen a more suitable venue to launch our Shift Rescue product,” says Jeff Brown, President of Focus FS. “This is a globally recognised competition with mine rescue personnel from around the world. Early feedback we have received from mine executives, mine rescue teams, and the industry in general has been very positive. The exposure has been tremendous.”