Working Group - Refrigeration safety

Objectives of the working group


The vision that underlies the work is to get a better “hold” on what can be considered as refrigerant system “safety”. This target of the work planned is to record as many existing experiences as possible that involve refrigerant system safety. Non-synthetic refrigerants have been in use for 100 years or more and the “safety refrigerants” have been in use for about 70 years. Looking back in time, one can conclude that very little documented experiences exist from all those years. This lack of documentation has become particularly evident when new or updated standards involving “safety” had to be written.


In relation to the safety work, it would also be very helpful if one would be able to correlate existing legal demands on the design and maintenance of equipment with all accidents that have been and are experienced world-wide.


This work of the WG are not meant to give proof of anything, but the target is to document all currently existing experiences. Through the years, many very experienced engineers have developed a feeling for how to collect and interpret these experiences. This implies that the work of the WG is to objectively record the contents of these experiences.


Moreover, if guidelines for the safe handling and working with refrigerants could be developed as a result of all experiences collected, the results of the work of the WG could be defined as ”very successful”. Higher attention given to “near-miss” situations and risk awareness is key to less accidents and higher safety levels in general.



Latest activities

A first meeting of the advisory board was held in April 2020. Main issues discussed at that meeting were related to the competition rules and other technicalities. Outstanding issues have now been resolved and the second meeting of the advisory board is planned for the spring of 2021.


Future activities

Activities in 2021 will consist of composing an adequate group of IIR members interested and willing to participate in the two working committees. The list of IIR committee members will form the basis for determining possible candidates who will be invited to participate in the Working Group and its committees.

The information collected will have to be put in a data bank or any other system, in which all types of accidents and incidents will be registered that are collected from publicly available sources. The lead of WP2 will formalize the way how a minimum amount of data can be be provided in order to formulate follow-ups for more information etc.

The lead of WP1 will set out a way to work with the information and will, together with the WP1 experts, analyse all the information available.  In case specific lessons will be learned, the information could be published in the form of IIR informatory notes.


How to join this working group?


Anyone interested in those issues is invited to become a member of the IIR. Members of the working group are expected to be either private members or representatives of corporate members of the IIR. For more information, you can write to:


Working group team


The Working Group has a chair and co-chair, two working “package” lead persons, and three advisory members (together, they form the Advisory Board (AB)). And the Group also has ordinary members (coming from the IIR committees to a large degree).



Alexander Cohr Pachai et Lambert Kuijpers

Other roles:

Sub-group "data collection":      Radim Čermák

Sub-group "evaluation of reported accidents" :      Andy Pearson

Advisory Board Members:

Tomaz Cleto, Brazil

Hilde Dhont, Belgium

Stefan Jensen, Australia  

Tingxun Li


Commissions involved:

Commission B2 with Commissions B1, E1 and E2.


Documents of interest

  • Terms of reference
  • AB Meeting Minutes - 17 May 2021
  • AB Meeting Minutes - 12 April 2021
  • Potential members