Safety Is Top Concern At Association Meeting

June 2, 2002
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WINNIPEG, MB, Canada — If the 1,400 contractors, technicians, and manufacturer reps who make up the membership of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) of Canada want to adopt a theme for the year ahead, one suggestion focuses on safety.

That was the position of Gino DiFebo of Brampton, ON, who is assistant coordinator for the Joint Training and Apprenticeship Committee of United Association Local 787.

He told his fellow RSES Canada board members during the association’s annual conference that a good theme would be, “Work Safe…Your Family Needs You.”

As the board’s Safety, Insurance & Welfare Committee chair, he promised a stepped-up emphasis on safety in the materials supplied by organizations and manufacturers within the industry.

“I would like to include articles on ladder safety, lockout and tag procedures, electrical meters use and safety, refrigerant and oil handling, back care and respirator, ear and eye protection, and the identification of related hazards.” He also said attention would be paid to insurance options to offer members.

As is usually the case with an association with a large number of toolbox-carrying technicians, seminars were highly technical.

Bob Semchuk of Heatcore discussed electronically controlled refrigeration systems; Carol Marcanio of FieldCentrix talked about wireless communication; Rob McLean of Alco and Dennis Kozina of Copeland talked about how flow controls and scroll compressors work with HFCs; David Boyd of Amprobe gave a morning talk on test meters; Tom Newmark of Bitzer Canada discussed applications of compressors in light of changing technology and new refrigerants; Garth Denison of DuPont reviewed 102 servicing trends along with 85 faults that could result in failed refrigeration systems; and Wes Taylor of Carlyle detailed the vapor compression cycle in various types of compressors.

TAKING OFFICE

In ceremonies during the conference, Wallace Babcock of Coley’s Point, NF, was elected president. Robert Obenaur of Sherwood Park, AB, was selected vice president. Nick Reggi of Oakville, ON; David Chafe of Clarke’s Beach, NF; and Alec Ma of Vancouver, BC, continued in their respective roles of secretary, treasurer, and educational chair. Gordon Smith of Guelph, ON, was picked as sergeant at arms.

Like many associations in the hvacr industry, RSES Canada has had to focus attention on declining membership. With 2,900 members eight years ago, the Canadian association is now hovering around 1,400. Some loss could be traced to a general trend of older industry professionals retiring and not enough younger people entering the industry to offset that loss.

Some members of RSES Canada also expressed concern that the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar was creating the impression that the cost of membership might be too high. RSES Canada is part of RSES International, which is based in the United States. Dues are paid to the international headquarters with an exchange rate

in Canadian dollars fixed once a year by headquarters. Discussions at the conference focused on

different ways to set rates with proposals to be offered in the near future.

RSES Canada set May 7-10, 2003, for its next conference, to be held in Niagara Falls, ON.

Publication date: 06/03/2002

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