Maurice Young was a keynote speaker at the recent 6th IIR conference on Ammonia and CO2 Refrigeration Technologies held between April 16th and 18th at Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia.

140 delegates registered for this latest IIR meeting, which represents almost a 40% increase over the previous conferences.  Delegates came from about 35 countries including speakers and presenters from 23 countries, mostly from within Europe but also including speakers from the USA, Africa, India, China, New Zealand and Australia.

Summary of presentation:


Ammonia has been considered to be an excellent choice of refrigerant for industrial applications for over 150 years.  However, ammonia is toxic and besides it is also flammable and requires careful safety consideration in the design and operation of refrigeration systems, even though it has a good safety record and ignition of ammonia is a very rare occurrence and is virtually unknown in systems which comply with recognised European Standards.  In the UK a recent ‘Joint Industry Project’ has sought to provide practical guidance to ensure ammonia refrigeration plants are fully compliant with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 as required by EU ATEX Directives.  The paper provided an overview of the current legal framework and explains the procedure to be followed in classification of hazardous areas in accordance with IEC EN 60079-10-1.  Finally an approach using new software to model potential releases and calculate the hazard range, was described.

About the conference

According to all reports, the concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere are increasing continuously.  There are alarming projections of GHG emissions including HFCs.  In Europe, an EU Regulation 842 on F-gases have been introduced which is revised in 2014 with more adopted restrictions, including phase-down of HFCs.  More than 110 countries support the proposal for phase-down of HFCs within the Montreal Protocol, but no agreement has been reached so far.  In the meantime, new HFC refrigerants (named HFOs) with low GWPs are announced.

In the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, confusion and uncertainties related to working fluids in many applications are continuing.  In addition, there are many groups with diverging interests: chemical companies, manufacturers of equipment, distributors, users, environmental organizations, politicians and the public.

Despite many difficulties, the global trend towards using natural refrigerants is intensifying.  There are very positive signals in Europe and some parts in the world where expanding use of ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons in various applications is occurring.  We will eliminate all uncertainties in the future regarding both Protocols and environmental regulations applying to natural refrigerants.

Of all refrigerants applied today, ammonia and CO2 are the oldest that have been used since the 19th century.  The topics of the conference are: design of modern ammonia and new CO2 systems and technological innovations, improving energy efficiency, various applications, technical guidelines and safety regulations.  It is very clear: by using more ammonia and CO2 refrigerants, we are employing environmentally friendly technologies.

TCS&D14The FSDF’s Technical & Safety Committee (TASC) has won the award for Health & Safety at the Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution Awards 2014. The award ceremony took place Tuesday 16th September at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, where TASC’s Chairman Ian Hancock received the award.  Maurice Young Consulting’s principal consultant has been an active member of the TASC team since 1978 and regularly represents the FSDF on other industry working groups concerned with both technical standards and regulatory and enforcement matters concerning the temperature controlled logistics sector.

In recent years the Committee have undertaken a number of projects the main one being the TASC Seminars and the INFOCUS newsletter which are aimed at Health and Safety, Technical and Facilities Managers throughout the FSDF members’ operations.  The next of which, TASC4, is taking place on 8th October at the Deafblind conference centre in Peterborough.  TASC seminars have all been very well supported and consequently we have been able to attract a high calibre of speakers who are all recognised as ‘leaders’ within their own area of expertise to provide us with practical advice regarding those issues that currently affect the food storage and distribution industry. Book your place online or email

In January the FSDF launched the Health and Safety Leadership Programme.  This initiative has been designed to provide a highly visible declaration of the FSDF’s leadership for members who are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all involved in the food storage and distribution industry sector. Currently membership of the FSDF Health and Safety Leadership Programme covers nearly 100 operational locations throughout the UK from which we have begun to collect anonymous accident statistics that will enable us to develop benchmarking data and where appropriate produce future guidance regarding ‘best practice’ for members.

The Technical & Safety Committee has also become involved in supporting the FSDF’s new Primary Authority Partnership with Slough Borough Council and will therefore be directly involved in the development of ‘assured guidance’ for members that they will be able to rely on at all their operations.

Although historically the FSDF has always enjoyed a good relationship with the HSE through our participation on a number of various ‘joint industry projects’ TASC now sits on the HSE’s Logistics Strategy Forum providing leadership for our industry sector by influencing the development of future health and safety regulations, codes of practice and enforcement strategies.

TASC continues to provide a confidential forum that enables key issues relevant to the food and drink logistics industry to be discussed and reviewed and it also enables pertinent information to be circulated to all the Federation’s members. For more information about TASC go or email

NavMan Keeping CoolTransporting temperature sensitive goods can be a very demanding task. We often hear how the cold chain needs to synchronise more than ever to improve the efficiency of maintaining product at the correct temperature whilst meeting exacting delivery schedules. This requires a combination of science, process and technology and the stakes are high. Billions of pounds of produce is spoiled each year and the challenge increases with the ever demanding fast-paced, short-lived perishable supply chains in which products can flow from source to customers within a matter of weeks, days, and sometimes hours.

Why controlling temperature in transport presents a challenge to fleet managers. Fleet managers in the cold chain face their own set of issues. Ensuring product temperature during transport is one of their biggest challenges. Keeping perishable products at the precise temperature, from warehouse to truck to final destination, is critical. If the temperature in a trailer drops even a few degrees, product can deteriorate quickly, costing companies thousands of pounds. Furthermore, customers are increasingly demanding proof of cold chain integrity to ensure that the perishable products they receive have been cared for correctly during every step of the supply chain. To compound the situation; handling temperature-sensitive, perishable freight makes dealing with regulations even more challenging.

Refrigerated fleets of all sizes can now improve temperature control and simultaneously drive down operating costs.
It can be a major headache for the cold chain, which is exactly why NavMan Wireless decided to produce Keep Your Cool, their new independent guide to effective temperature control in refrigerated vehicles. The guide outlines the general concepts of transport refrigeration systems plus current legislative requirements and also explores ways in which temperature monitoring systems can be used in practice to help improve temperature control and simultaneously drive down operating costs.

Maurice Young Consulting were delighted to help Navman Wireless in the compilation of this guide.

Workplace AccidentThe recently published RTITB e-leaflet summarises the main points on workplace transport operator training found in the full version of Training Recommendations for Workplace Transport, available to purchase from

Training Recommendations for Workplace Transport has been written to provide employers, training organisations, and instructors with the information needed to help them meet the requirements and standards of effective workplace transport instruction.

You will find a lot of useful information in this booklet, but it should not be seen as a substitute  for core HSE documents such as L117, HSG76 and HSG136 – anybody involved in the operation or  control of, or the training of operators working with workplace transport should read and familiarise  themselves with all these documents.

Hard HatThe HSE is to investigate charging for inspections and advice following approval from the government in its response to the triennial review.

The executive has been tasked with researching a “fully chargeable inspection service” for businesses with mature health and safety arrangements as part of a range of initiatives to commercialise its activities sanctioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In its formal response on the 26th June to the review by former EEF chief executive Martin Temple, the DWP says it accepts the review’s recommendations for the HSE’s commercialisation, including consultancy with overseas regulators, increasing revenue from its research arm Health and Safety Laboratory and charging for advice on planning applications near hazardous installations.

The response reports that a steering group led by HSE chair Judith Hackitt and including HSE board members and Martin Temple, has been set up to consider HSE’s commercial options.

Temple was commissioned by the government to report on HSE’s fitness and functions as part of a cycle of three-yearly reviews of public bodies and reported in January. Though he recommended a charging scheme for inspections in his January review, he said the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme which bills organisations for advice to remedy material breaches, was widely misunderstood as a penalty system and should be reformed. In the DWP’s response, health and safety minister Mike Penning says the government remains committed to the principle of FFI, but he has asked HSE to set up an independent review panel to consider its impact on relationships with business, which will report to him in July.

The HSE has also recently changed the system for contesting FFI charges so it involves an outside adjudicator at the first appeal, in line with Temple’s recommendation.

“We welcome the establishment of the review panel to consider the operation of FFI and its impact on the relationship between HSE and business,” said Terry Woolmer, head of health and safety policy for the EEF. “What we find less satisfactory is that the formal terms of reference for the panel have not been previously made available publicly, nor has there been a public call for evidence inviting stakeholder views.”

Temple also called for a review of the remit and make-up of the HSE’s executive board — formerly the Health and Safety Commission — to check it had the right skills mix. The government says it accepts the recommendation and has created a new skills matrix for board members, but rejects the suggestion that the number of board appointments made in consultation with unions and employers’ organisations should be reduced, altering the traditional tripartite nature.

In response to Temple’s suggestion that the HSE should have a new performance framework with measures for cost effectiveness of its services compared with other regulators, the government says the executive will implement a new framework in September. The government has not accepted the triennial review’s suggested target for HSE to conclude 95% of non-fatal accident investigations  within 12 months of the incident.

Other recommendations accepted by the DWP include reviews of the HSE’s working arrangements with the Environment Agency and the Office of Rail Regulation.