Ammonia Refrigeration » General Safety

General safety
General safety

Personal Protective Equipment

Employees who work regularly with anhydrous ammonia and are subject to overexposure either to the liquid or the vapor should be provided with proper safety equipment. [29 CFR 1910.120(g)(3), 29 CFR 1910.132]

Safety Goggles

Figure 1. Safety goggles
Figure 1. Safety goggles
Figure 2. Personal protective equipment
Figure 2. Personal protective equipment

It is preferable that the goggles be gas tight; however, unventilated goggles tend to steam up, especially in hot and cold weather. Ventilated, splashproof goggles are more comfortable and will provide adequate protection in most instances. In addition, where splashing may occur, wear a full- face shield to protect the face. [29 CFR 1910.133]


Impervious Clothes

Wear gloves impervious (not able to penetrate) to ammonia (neoprene gloves are recommended). Where there is a likelihood of a spill or during clean-up operations, wear both boots and shoe covers and slickers or jackets and pants made of ammonia-impervious materials. Wear gauntlets tucked inside the sleeves and trouser legs over the boots. If impervious clothing is not available, wear cotton, which is the preferred fabric for work clothing because it is more alkali resistant than wool and is more comfortable than all-synthetic fibers. Clothes, especially gloves, should also be insulated to prevent freezing of the skin.

Gas Masks

The term "gas mask" normally applies to respiratory equipment consisting of a negative-pressure full facepiece with a chest or back mounted canister. This is the respiratory equipment most familiar to ammonia workers. Where respiratory equipment is used, a minimal respiratory protection program should be instituted in accordance with [29 CFR 1910.134].

Additional Information

  • Respiratory Protection. OSHA eTool. The purpose of this eTool is to help you comply with the new OSHA respirator standard.  This eTool will instruct you on the proper selection of respiratory protection and the development of change schedules for gas/vapor cartridges

  • Ammonia Refrigeration. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.

  • Respiratory Protection. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.

  • A Guide for Developing a Training Program for Anhydrous Ammonia Workers. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 79-119, (1978). Primarily emphasizes safety in the operation of facilities that handle anhydrous ammonia for agricultural purposes; however, the information included should interest all who handle anhydrous ammonia at other permanent installations. See the Table of Contents.