New Requirements for Worker Safety


By Brian Rodgers: Dean Saputa, Associate Member ASHRAE

Since the 1990s, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), or light in the UV-C wave­length (specifically 253.7 nm), has been used in HVAC&R equipment to maintain or return cooling capacity to as-built conditions by maximizing heat exchange efficiency. The technology deactivates biological growth on surfaces within an air handler to save energy, boost airflow levels and protect indoor air quality.

ASHRAE Technical Committee (TC) 2.9, Ultraviolet Air and Surface Treatment, helps oversee the safety stan­dards that protect installers and service personnel from accidental UV-C exposure. Complementary HVAC&R equipment requirements in this area are published in the UL 1995 safety standard for heating and cooling equipment.

In May 2009, UL LLC, the testing, inspection and certi­fication part of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., which is the entity responsible for developing HVAC equipment safety standards, approached the TC 2.9 committee with a proposal to update the fourth edition of the UL 1995 standard.

A collaborative effort ensued and work culminated in July 2015 with the release of the fifth edition of UL 1995, which carries a Nov. 2019 compliance date. This article provides an overview of how these safety enhancements will protect installers and service per­sonnel from accidental UV-C exposure from HVAC&R equipment.

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Brian Rodgers is the Principal Engineer for Heating, Ventilating and Large-Scale Cooling at UL. Dean Saputa is Vice President of Sales for UV Resources and the immediate past chair of the ASHRAE TC 2.9, Ultraviolet Air and Surface Treatment.

*This article was published in ASHRAE Journal, January 2017. Copyright 2017 ASHRAE. Posted at www.ul.com. This article may not be copied and/or distributed electronically or in paper form without permission of ASHRAE. For more information about ASHRAE Journal, visit www.ashrae.org.