Responsible Facility Authority 

 

The Responsible Facility Authority (RFA) has been in the NFPA 99 for several revisions. However, it wasn’t until the NFPA 99 2021 that the RFA gained more responsibilities. In previous generations of the code, the RFA was simply responsible for collecting documentation, reviewing failures, and ensuring the medical gas system was safe for patient use. Fast forward to the NFPA 99 2021 and we find that the Responsible Facility Authority gains an entire section of responsibilities to keep their facilities code compliant and the patients safe. 

 

What are the responsibilities of an RFA?

 

As it states in section 5.1.14.1.2.1 of the NFPA 99 2021, the primary responsibility of the RFA is the implementation of piped medical gases within their facility. This entails advising on Sections 1.3 of the NFPA 99 2021, developing risk assessments in accordance with Section 4.2 as they apply to the piped medical gas, vacuum, and WAGD systems, and interpreting Sections 5.1 through 5.3 as they apply to their facility. Furthermore, it is up to the RFA to write and upkeep the portions of their facility’s emergency plan that might affect or be affected by piped medical gas and vacuum system quality, quantity, and continuity of supply. It’s up to the RFA to ensure that their facility’s emergency plan address unusual or exceptional requirements necessary for patient and staff safety arising from elements of the design or construction of the building. The RFA must also develop and enforce permit-to-work rules that pertain to piped medical gas and vacuum systems to maintain safety for all patients, staff, and visitors. Lastly, the RFA is also responsible for the maintenance and evaluation of these piped medical gas systems and must review and accept testing reports of these systems. 

 

Qualifications of an RFA.

 

Several appropriate qualifications would allow an individual to become the Responsible Facility Authority, and the NFPA 99 2021 outlines these in section 5.1.14.1.3.20. Starting with the most practical, the ASSE 6040 is the standard that applies to individuals who maintain medical gas and vacuum systems. This basic certification gives the individual responsible for maintaining these systems the appropriate knowledge to conduct proper maintenance without jeopardizing patient and staff safety. Furthermore, the code states that individuals with the less common certifications of ASSE 6010 Installer, ASSE 6020 Inspector, or ASSE 6030 Verifier are also qualified to be a Responsible Facility Authority. And finally, if an individual completes an educational program that is acceptable to the facility’s governing body and is equal to or superior to that of the ASSE 6010, 6020, 6030, or 6040 standards then that individual is qualified to be an RFA. 

 

Where to begin? 

 

The Responsible Facility Authority is quickly becoming an important role at all health care facilities. And staying on top of the ever-changing codes can be a never-ending task. Thankfully Compliance Solutions is here to help. With a free consultation with our certified professionals, we can assist in determining your next steps in developing or assisting your RFA individual. 

 

Responsible Facitlity Authority

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