Anhydrous ammonia is widely used as refrigerant in industrial facilities such as:
- meat, poultry, and fish processing facilities,
- dairy and ice cream plants,
- wineries and breweries,
- fruit juice, vegetable juice, and soft drink processing facilities,
- cold storage warehouses,
- other food processing facilities,
- seafood processing facilities aboard
- petrochemical facilities.
Ammonia refrigeration systems with 10,000 pounds or more of ammonia are a covered process subject to the requirements of the Process Safety Management Standard [29 CFR 1910.119]. Many of these requirements are identified in this e-tool as possible controls and are useful as recommended practices whether or not the ammonia refrigeration system is a covered process. As mentioned in 29 CFR 1910.119 Appendix C, smaller businesses which may have limited resources might consider reductions in inventory or dispersing inventory to several locations to reduce the risk from an ammonia release.
This eTool is designed to assist employers and employees in identifying and controlling the hazards associated with the operation and maintenance of ammonia refrigeration systems. This eTool consists of Ammonia Receiving and Storage and Emergency Response modules. Other operations include condenser area, piping and pressure vessels, refrigeration spaces, and the machine room.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or worker rights.
OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under the OSHA law.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA's Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Employees can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to your local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by an employee are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.
eTools are "stand-alone", illustrated, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. As indicated in the disclaimer, eTools do not create new OSHA requirements.