Go ahead and throw your rotten vegetables at me now, but I really believe this is true. Per IIAR 6-2019, Section 4.1.3., facilities must comply with the new standard “when it is adopted by the authority having jurisdiction or when it is adopted by the owner, whichever is first.”, Ok, ok… that might have sounded like a bunch of gobbledygook to someone who doesn’t live in the technocratic world of compliance. Although legislation requires that vapour gas detectors be installed and in proper working order, there is no direct legislative requirement for personal protective equipment to be worn where ammonia refrigeration systems are in operation. Selecting the proper PPE and ensuring workers are fitted, and know how to care for and use the equipment properly will go a long way toward ensuring occupational health and safety in the workplace. They even published some key safety measures they expect to be in place at any ammonia refrigeration facility. In the past, Technical Standards and Safety Authority has confirmed there is no specific obligation under the Operating Engineers Regulation or Boiler and Pressure Vessels Act. Everyone who owns or operates an ammonia refrigeration system should be familiar with these expectations, as well as the guidance in the Accident Prevention and Response Manual for Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration System Operators, published by USEPA Region 7 and updated in 2015. Accident Prevention and Response Manual for Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration System Operators, General Duty Clause Pilot Program in New England. However, as a result of industrial accidents, the potential as a terrorist target, drug trafficking, and growing local concerns, its use has come under increased scrutiny over the past decade. This potentially lethal gas is compressed under extreme pressure and when used in refrigerated systems is transformed into a liquid state referred to as anhydrous ammonia. Ensure equipment, materials and protective devices are provided. We are s triving to learn the caus es and contributing factors associated with chemical accidents and to prevent their recurrence. Ensure equipment is maintained in good condition. Here is a quick overview of the impacts ammonia can have on humans who breathe in anhydrous ammonia: Since ammonia leaks can and do occur even when preventative measures are taken, it’s vital that food and beverage workers be provided with the necessary protective equipment when dealing with refrigerants. Applications for ammonia-based refrigeration systems include thermal storage systems, HVAC chillers, process cooling, air conditioning, winter sports, district cooling systems, heat pump systems, supermarkets, convenience stores, and increasing output efficiencies for power generation facilities. 'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Ammonia Refrigeration System Safety for the Food and Beverage Industry, © 2020 Berg Chilling Systems Inc. All rights reserved. People who own or operate ammonia refrigeration system have been required to comply with safety and health standards for many years. Because PSM/RMP and the General Duty Clause require ammonia refrigeration facilities to comply with applicable codes and standards, which previously included several IIAR Bulletins like 109 and 110. You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. Ammonia is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world and has become the preferred choice for industrial refrigeration due to its superior cooling abilities and low impact on the environment. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more. Industrial refrigerated warehouses and food processing facilities typically use anhydrous ammonia. production facilities that use ammonia (anhydrous) for refrigeration, or if the facility is a retailer, distributor, or warehouse. This case study provides a detailed analysis of ammonia release incidents reported to Technical Safety BC from 2007 to 2017, and their causes. The NCI will continue for fiscal years 2020 through 2023. Not only does the article describe the hazards of ammonia with great detail, it also outlines how to prevent and control exposure. BC Systems industrial refrigeration systems use anhydrous ammonia, a toxic chemical highly corrosive to skin, eyes and lungs. Ammonia refrigeration facilities should be aware of the potential hazards of ammonia releases and be prepared to respond appropriately to releases should they occur. The cost of ammonia is less than that of more traditional hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, in fact, the cost may be as little as one-tenth. However, in this facility the valve stations were (cleverly!) But what effect does ammonia have on those exposed to it? Occasionally, I look around and realize that things have changed. Provide information on the use of personal protective equipment to staff. Owners of smaller systems will also have … A respirator is a device designed to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful dust, fumes, vapors, or gases. Tweets by @BergChilling Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Risk Management Plan (RMP) rules applies to systems with at least 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, and the General Duty Clause apply to smaller processes. A wise owner and/or operator would become familiar with these changes and manage the facility accordingly. The extension may apply if the facility uses the COI in direct treatment to their Specifically, this PSM standard is applicable to ammonia manufacturers and facilities with large ammonia refrigeration systems; it does not apply to retail facilities. Industrial refrigeration safety is very important. The risks to food and beverage workers increase as the levels of ammonia exposure go up. I don’t know if this program will be carried to other parts of the country or if OSHA will adopt a similar program, but I’m very interested in learning what the future holds for smaller refrigeration systems. AMONUM: Ammonia refrigeration system by ENGIE Refrigeration The AMONUM series, suitable for a refrigeration capacity range of 50 to 250 kW, has been available from ENGIE since 2014. §(r)(1), and with Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to- Know Act (EPCRA), 42 U.S.C. Depending on exposure, health hazards can range from temporary mild discomfort to irreversible, serious damage to exposed tissues. Despite preventative measures and routine maintenance efforts, refrigerant leaks can and do occur. Shambaugh's Refrigeration Group designs, builds, commissions, and services large, centralized industrial refrigeration systems for process cooling and storage applications. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. This program is generally focused on ammonia refrigeration systems, and those are typically utilized in food processing, cold storage, and power generation facilities to name a few. This article discusses the risks of ammonia exposure, the different types of PPEs available, and the legislative requirements associated with them. used for refrigeration. Ammonia refrigeration facilities should be aware of the potential hazards of ammonia releases and of the steps that can be taken to prevent such releases. An ammonia release incident is an unexpected and uncontrolled release of refrigerant from a system. With each category, different technologies are employed to reduce or eliminate noxious airborne contents. The USEPA is focusing on smaller refrigeration systems (at least in New England), and IIAR has released new guidance for maintaining refrigeration systems. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)? Ammonia refrigeration systems are constantly evolving, and are thus becoming increasingly more efficient and safe to operate. A Barantas Ammonia Refrigeration Audit will: ... * On August 29th WorkSafeBC released a report on their investigation into the tragic deaths of three men following an ammonia leak at an arena facility in Fernie last year, click here to learn more about what was discovered. Ammonia refrigeration is most commonly used in facilities that have large-scale refrigeration systems such as food and beverage manufacturing facilities, cold storage warehouses, combined cycle power plants, and petrochemical facilities. Lowell Randel, the Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs at the Global Cold Chain Alliance did us the favor of writing this nice summary. Ammonia Refrigeration Facilities (Update) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing this Alert as part of its ongoing effort to protect hum an health and the environm ent by preventing chem ical accidents . There are many laws and regulations in place to protect operators, other employees, and surrounding communities from the potential hazards of working with toxic chemicals like anhydrous ammonia. It’s usually a small thing here and little thing there, and then I realize that the world has evolved into a different place. positioned outside. These SCBAs are to be used when the ammonia atmosphere less than 300 ppm and should also be suitable for the temperature in which the SCBA will be worn. § 11022. There are two main categories of respirators: A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) provides breathable air in cases where workers are exposed to immediate danger to life and health atmosphere. Gas is measured in parts per million (PPM). Ammonia has been and continuesto be the predominant refrigerant used in the cold and food storage processing industry. "Ammonia is still the refrigerant of choice for large cold storage facilities," says Tom Cooper, president of Refrigeration Concepts, Inc., (RCI) Comstock Park, Michigan. However, Bulletins 109 and 110 are among those replaced by ANSI/IIAR 6-2019. It is important for food and safety plant managers to periodically verify that employees are trained and fit tested for the proper use of this emergency equipment. The sharp, penetrating, odor of ammonia can be detectable at very low concentrations, even as small as 5 PPM and its effects on humans can be extremely hazardous. Ammonia Refrigeration Units We provide “End to End Integrated Cold Chain Solution”, undertake Cold Storage Facility Projects such as Turnkey Construction, Cold Chain Refrigeration Systems, Consulting and quality monitoring solution for various application and segments Doubl-Kold provides Ammonia Refrigeration Management Programs facilities that have systems that contain less than 10,000 pounds of ammonia. Food and beverage safety is a critical matter for plant managers, and when it comes to storing food using ammonia refrigeration systems, ensuring the safety of workers is of utmost importance. Ammonia refrigerants indicate the need for face protection when handling the chemical. However, in large doses, ammonia is a highly toxic chemical that can be lethal to humans. Agricultural facilities possessing ammonia (anhydrous) at or above STQ for such purposes shouldstill report their inventory to CFATS. For the last three years or so, the USEPA has focused on ammonia facilities as part of the National Compliance Initiative (NCI) to reduce accidental chemical releases. Installations primarily use anhydrous ammonia as the refrigerant, along with secondary refrigerants including CO 2, propylene glycol, and calcium chloride. Workers have the right to a safe working environment, and so food and beverage operational managers are required to perform certain responsibilities related to emergency response preparedness: Food and beverage plant owners and managers must make their own interpretation of these duties laid out by their state or province. The clear fluid evaporates quickly at room temperature and a major spill poses a danger, not only because it is flammable, but also because it is toxic to those who breathe it in. Respirators come in a wide range of types and sizes and can range from single-use models to re-usable with replaceable cartridges. How do these systems work? This thoughtfully designed and purpose built machine can operate in any industrial environment and has been Berg built to last. The ammonia used in these systems must be 99.9 95 percent pure to ensure the system operates efficiently. Recently, I realized that the world of ammonia refrigeration has evolved, so it seems like a good time to share another update. What are the hazards of ammonia refrigeration, and what can be done to keep workers safe? Ammonia is a colorless gas with a very distinct and familiar odor that becomes explosive when large quantities are released into the atmosphere and ignited. Anyone who has gone through the pain and agony of setting up a computerized maintenance management system realizes that it’s a time-consuming process to ensure all your maintenance schedules are correct. Until May of 2019, the person who set up the preventative maintenance schedules for an ammonia refrigeration system should have consulted IIAR Bulletin 110 to answer questions like, “How often should we inspect our refrigeration piping?” Now, there are new recommendations. Many industrial food and beverage facilities use ammonia as a refrigerant but not all have the proper equipment and protocols in place to ensure workers are kept safe when refrigeration leaks occur. This manual summarizes the requirements of environmental and safety laws for anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system operators. Re-evaluating your maintenance schedules probably won’t happen overnight, so get a head start now and get a copy of IIAR 6 to make it a manageable process. 21 Many of the reported incidents involving ammonia refrigeration systems have been the result of a malfunction of the oil drain system (designed to catch the “carry-over” of oil from the compressors). This website uses cookies to improve your experience. The Initiative will focus on ammonia refrigeration facilities using fewer than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia to enhance their compliance with the General Duty Clause of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), 42 U.S.C. In refrigeration applications, it’s generally preferable to install ammonia detection around the valve stations, as gas commonly leaks and accumulates in this area. Why is this important? While ammonia refrigeration hazards need to be taken seriously, they aren't a common enough issue to make most facilities worry about installing these refrigeration units. However, having more or less than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia doesn’t change the obligation to maintain a safe system and comply with applicable codes and standards. Larger ammonia refrigeration facilities are subject to the Risk Management regulations issued by EPA, but facilities that use fewer than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia are subject to the three duties of the GDC instead. “Manageable process?” Like process safety management?). Learn more about ammonia safety and the risks posed by non-compliance of regulations. Ammonia has … In addition the oil is viscous because it is cold. Anhydrous ammonia is one of the most effective refrigerants, however, it is also one of the most dangerous. The Global Cold Chain Alliance and the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) have been actively engaged with USEPA regarding the NCI. The authority having jurisdiction or your employer will inevitably adopt IIAR 6 sometime soon, and that will make these recommendations requirements. Ammonia refrigeration systems that have 10,000 pounds of ammonia (approximately 2,000 gallons) or more are subject to OSHA’s process safety management requirements. WHY CONSIDER THE AMMONIA REFRIGERATION TECHNOLOGY FIELD? Because PSM/RMP and the General Duty Clause require ammonia refrigeration facilities to comply with applicable codes and standards, which previously included several IIAR Bulletins like 109 and 110. This thoughtfully designed and purpose built machine can operate in any industrial environment and has been Berg built to last. All facilities that contain ammonia refrigeration systems are required to have valves tagged and piping labeled according to required codes and standards prior to the introduction of ammonia into the facility. Use of ammonia is generally safe provided appropriate maintenance and operating controls are exercised. Workplaces most commonly associated with potential ammonia exposure are those that use it as a refrigerant, such as ice rinks, cold storage plants, food and beverage manufacturing and Toronto, Ontario, Canada (See what I did there? Plant managers who want to read more detailed information about how to prevent and control exposure in ammonia refrigeration systems may find the following resources helpful: Ammonia Refrigeration Systems is an extensive manual published by WorkSafe BC. International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) developed the program to ensure that these smaller facilities were operating safely and in compliance with relevant regulations. Many facilities fail to have the right personal protection equipment on hand while those that do often fail to have the worker use it as required. 4.0 Ammonia Refrigeration 7 4.1 Characteristics of Anhydrous Ammonia 8 4.2 The Defrost Cycle 8 5.0 Incident Analysis 10 5.1 Power Outage 10 5.2 Millard Refrigeration System Design 11 5.2.1Evaporator Configuration 11 5.3 Operational Issues 12 5.3.1 Short Pump-out Time 12 5.4 Ammonia System Emergency Shutdown 12 6.0 Lessons Learned 13. For air-purifying respirators, replace cartridges as needed and check expiration dates. People who own or operate ammonia refrigeration processes should stay informed. Facilities with ammonia refrigeration systems with a charge above 10,000 lbs will fall under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Risk Management Planning (RMP) regulations, which require formal documentation of training for operators. 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