Ammonia Leaks News

If you are a facility with refrigeration equipment using ammonia, it is very important for you to stay informed about the recent US news on ammonia leaks.

Ammonia and Impact of Ammonia Leaks

Ammonia is widely used as a refrigerant gas, as well as in the fertilizer industry. Ammonia gas can decompose at high temperatures forming very flammable hydrogen and toxic nitrogen dioxide. It is a COMPRESSED GAS and a confined space explosion and toxicity hazard. Ammonia gas is a CORROSIVE GAS and may be fatal if inhaled. Ammonia gas may cause lung injury, and the liquefied gas can cause frostbite and corrosive injury to eyes and skin.

On 1 April 2016 an ammonia leak at a Shamrock Farms facility in Phoenix resulted in multiple people complaining of burning eyes. The leak occurred in an ammonia holding tank and five people were transported to hospital for further evaluation. Incidents like these highlight the dangers of inhaling too much ammonia, and also the need for a proactive safety program like PSM.

Working safely with Ammonia

Employees should be aware of owners’ contingency plans and provisions. Employees must be informedwhere ammonia is used in the host facility and aware of additional plant safety rules.

Wear personal protective equipment. Employees will be provided with and required to use impervious clothing, gloves, face shields and other appropriate protective clothing necessary to prevent any possibility of skin contact with liquid anhydrous ammonia or aqueous solutions of ammonia containing more than 10% by weight of ammonia. Similar precautions should be taken to prevent the skin from becoming frozen from contact with vessels containing liquid anhydrous ammonia.

To work with liquid ammonia, you may need eye, face, and skin protection. To work with liquid or gaseous ammonia, you may require respiratory protection. Individuals working with ammonia (operations or maintenance) should wear chemical splash-proof goggles plus a full face shield. The face shield should be worn over the goggles for additional protection of eyes, respiratory system and face, but never as a substitute for goggles. In addition, those individuals should also wear rubber or plastic gloves impervious to ammonia to protect hands and arms.

Train employees to work safely with ammonia.  Find out more details on safety procedures involving ammonia refrigeration from OSHA

See how you can implement ammonia safety using the most intuitive ammonia PSM software in the market, AutoPSM.  Request a demo

Recent News on Ammonia Leaks