The UK Government is planning to introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications for handlers of ozone depleting substances (ODS). ODS include HCFC and HCFC blends - such as R22 which is still in common use. A series of consultation documents have been issued (follow the link below to the DEFRA website).
The proposed regulations specify minimum qualifications for personnel handling ODS in refrigeration and air-conditioning and its recycling, reclamation or destruction. The minimum qualification proposed is the City and Guilds 2078 or the CITB Safe Handling Certificate.
It is suggested that this requirement will come into force in June 2006, with all existing workers qualified by December 2006.
Employers of personnel who handle these refrigerants but do not have these qualifications will be liable to prosecution including fines after this date.
At this stage, this is a Government consultation with interested persons. You are invited to make your views known to DEFRA by 14 February 2006.
For more information see DEFRA