The 2012 edition of NFPA 99 has added a new paragraph section for medical gas maintenance programs (Para. 188.8.131.52.2). Schedules for these maintenance programs are to be established by the individuals responsible for risk assessment in the facilities, in conjunction with the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations. Inspection procedures should be in place for each facility to insure that these schedules are being followed to maintain an appropriate level of patient care and to avoid costly equipment failures.
There are some recommendations for inspection and testing operations for specific pieces of medical gas equipment, as well as suggested intervals for these operations to occur. The 2012 edition of NFPA 99 has also addressed qualifications for persons maintaining these types of systems, suggesting three ways in which appropriate qualifications can be demonstrated. These ways include training and certification through the health care facility, credentialing to the requirements of ASSE 6030, and/or credentialing to the requirements of ASSE 6040. While actual “hands on training” is a very important factor in qualifying maintenance personnel, the ASSE standards raise awareness in many areas of safety, documentation, and procedures which could otherwise be overlooked.
EMGS has been conducting classes for compliance with the ASSE standards for several years in a facility designed to insure these issue are addressed. Contact Terri Clayton at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on training your maintenance personnel, and obtaining the ASSE 6040 credential.