Medical Gas Piping Training & Certification

AN OVERVIEW

Medical gases play a crucial role in patient care, supporting life and assisting in the safe deliver of various treatments. The most common gases used in health care include:

  • Oxygen for anesthesia and inhalation therapy
  • Nitrous oxide for anesthesia
  • Medical air for breathing
  • Nitrogen for driving pneumatic instruments and purging pipelines.

In a centralized gas distribution system, these gases are stored in bulk containers and delivered to patients through complex and intricate piping systems that are an integral part of a building’s structure. In certain facilities, the medical gas pipeline could consist of thousands of brazed joints, outlets, equipmnent connections, manifolds, control units, valves and alarms.

Hospitals, doctor’s and dentist’s offices, nursing homes, clinics, stand-alone surgery centers, and other health care providers commonly use centralized delivery systems because of the efficiency and economy they offer over gas cylinders; therefore, all are affected by the new state regulations concerning their installation and maintenance. These regulations were designed to prevent the dangerous and often fatal hazards associated with medical gas delivery systems, which include fire, explosion, contamination, crossed connections, improper pressure, and more.

STANDARDS, CODES AND REGULATIONS

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) includes standards for medical gas piping in their recently updated code for health care facilities, known as NFPA 99. In addition, the American Society of Sanitary Engineeering (ASSE) along with National ITC Corporation {formerly the American Medical Gas Institute and the Piping Industry Progress and Education Fund} and other industry leaders, have established ANSI/ASSE Series 6000, Professional Qualifications Standards for Medical Gas Systems Installers, Inspectors and Verifiers, which provides minimum requirements for certification in medical gas system work.

The State of Ohio’s new regulations, which went into effect January 1, 1998, are based on NFPA 99. While all work on medical gas distribution systems should follow NFPA 99 in its entirety to ensure patient safety and limit exposure to liability, only certain sections were mandated for enforcement by the state code. To document compliance with the new regulations, the Department of Commerce’s Division of Pressure Piping will conduct on-site evaluations to:

Inspect the overall installation of medical gas piping;
Inspect all brazed joints in the system; and
Seek verification that all brazing was done by state-certified brazers.

COMPLIANCE

To comply with the newer state regulations and, most importantly, to ensure the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors, all medical gas system installations and changes must be conducted by a certified installer. Certified installers meed the education requirements set by ANSI/ASSE Series 6000 and follow the procedures recommended by NFPA 99. Unqualified installers may be ignorant of these important standards or be unwilling to take the extra time and effort it involves to fully comply, leaving facilities with a medical gas system that is not only in violation of the law, but potentially hazardous to health and life.

A certified medical gas system installer can also:

  • Recognize and correct design problems prior to installation;
  • Eliminate legal liability resulting from improperly installed piping systems; and
  • Ensure a problem-free accreditation process.

OUR TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION CENTER

The Cleveland Plumbing Industry Promotion and Education Fund (CPI) co-operates one of only two approved certification centers for medical gas piping in the state of Ohio (the other being the Mechanical Contractors Assocation of Central Ohio’s in Columbus, Ohio). Co-operated with the Plumbers Union Local No. 55, the center educates professional plumbers about the provisions of NFPA 99 and the new Ohio state regulations. The center’s curriculum, facilities, and instructors meeto or exceed the requirements of National ITC Corporation, the premier medical gas training and certification organization in the U.S. The curriculum, designed by National ITC, consists of 32 hours of classroom work and hands-on training. The state-of-the-art facility includes a large classroom with audio/visual and computer equipment, a mini-hospital completely furnished with medical equipment and piped for medical gas, twelve brazing stations, a conference room and offices, All instructors are experienced professionals.

The center is located at the offices of Plumbers Local No. 55, 980 Keynote Circle in Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, near the junction of I-77 and I-480.

CONSULTING AND PRESENTATION SERVICES

Because of the special expertise involved in designing, installing, alarming and maintaining medical gas piping systems, the Cleveland Medical Gas Piping Training and Certification Center offers the services of its expert faculty to organizations seeking advice and counsel in this area. Simply contact the center for further information.

AFFILIATION

The center is affiliated with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, which set standards for medical gas piping training.

CONTACT US

For additional information on the center, training curriculum, and course availability, please contact CPI at:

981 Keynote Circle, Suite 30
Brooklyn Heights, Ohio 44131-1842
216.459.0770
Fax: 216.459.1342
Email: mapic@mapic.org

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