What was identified in your most recent ammonia refrigeration system risk assessment?
Whether it was pressure system operation, product toxicity, or flammability, it is essential that a risk analysis be conducted to determine prevention and mitigation strategies in case of an incident.
Ammonia has been used as a refrigerant for over 35 years (only briefly losing popularity to CFCs, until ozone issues resulted in the Kyoto accord) and, with the appropriate precautionary measures and safety systems in place, can provide an efficient and safe long-term solution to sustaining large cooling systems.
To ensure safe operation, an effective operational program must include equipment information, appropriate hazard assessments, mechanical integrity, change management, service contract management, operator and maintenance staff training, post-incident investigations, emergency plans, record keeping and external compliance audits.
With arenas often located in residential areas and frequented by children; owners and operators of facilities using an ammonia refrigeration system need to ensure that risk assessments are being performed regularly in order to protect their staff, contractors, and the public from harm. Consider these questions:
Have changes or alterations been made to your ammonia refrigeration system—or the room that houses it—that are not incorporated in your safety procedures or emergency plans?
Are your staff practised and competent in your emergency procedures and drills?
Are you aware of the regulated requirements for your system size and are you sure you are compliant?
Are you confident that your service provider is properly maintaining your facility? If you are not sure of the answers to one or more of these questions, you may have significantly increased risk. An unbiased, third-party audit will help manage your risk and allow you to make fully-informed decisions about the future of your arena’s safety.