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OSHA Trade Release
July 15, 2004
OSHA Contact: Bill Wright
Phone (202) 693-1999


OSHA Debuts Electronic Assistance Tool on Ammonia Refrigeration
eTool a Product of Alliances with Dow Chemical, American Meat Institute

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a web-based assistance tool yesterday to help workers and employers identify and control hazards associated with the operation and maintenance of ammonia refrigeration systems.

The Ammonia Refrigeration "eTool" is a direct result of Alliances between OSHA and The Dow Chemical Company (renewed on May 26) and the American Meat Institute (renewed July 12). The tool consists of two initial modules: Ammonia Receiving and Storage, and Emergency Response. Later stages of the product will include the condenser area, piping and pressure vessels, refrigeration spaces, and the machine room.

"This is an important training tool that will educate workers and employers on avoiding hazards associated with ammonia in refrigeration facilities," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "We're particularly pleased to be able to launch the eTool as a direct result of our Alliances with Dow and AMI. The Alliance program continues to provide effective means of furthering safety and health in the workplace."

Anhydrous ammonia is widely used as a refrigerant in many industrial facilities. Industries that use ammonia refrigeration systems include: 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; and petrochemical facilities. Accidental releases of ammonia from these facilities have resulted in both injuries and deaths to workers. Because refrigeration systems operate at elevated pressures, additional care must be taken to maintain and operate these systems safely in order to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences.

The eTool discusses ammonia hazards and recommended controls of various receivers and storage vessels, and also provides details on emergency response and first aid in the event of accidents. A plant safety checklist is also included, as is an extensive resource section featuring standards of major national consensus organizations associated with the industry, e.g., American Chemistry Council, International Institute for Ammonia Refrigeration, American Standards for Mechanical Engineers, and more.

The Ammonia Refrigeration eTool supplements a Safety and Health Topics Page on the same issue.

OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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This news release text is on the Internet at www.osha.gov. Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


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