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Flammable refrigerants

Refrigeration engineers or technicians are a key source of advice to customers on equipment or refrigerants and will need to be mindful of obligations they may have to provide accurate advice on any safety issues and their implications, particularly if substitution of the original refrigerant by an alternative refrigerant is being contemplated. Strict standards and procedures must be followed when using flammable refrigerants, including hydrocarbons.

The Commonwealth Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 does not require a refrigerant handling licence for handling natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons. However, anyone handling fluorocarbon refrigerants (including halocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and HFCs) must hold an appropriate refrigerant handling licence.

Any individual (including a repairer or dismantler) who removes fluorocarbon refrigerant from any refrigeration or air conditioning system and wants to replace this gas with natural refrigerants, must hold, as a minimum, a Restricted Refrigerant Recoverers Transitional Licence, which can be obtained from the Australian Refrigeration Council at


Safety considerations using flammable refrigerants
Department of Environment (Australian Government)

Safe use of flammable refrigerants
Link to WorkSafe Victoria

Flammable Refrigerant Safety Guide
Link to AIRAH website