80% of UK Ammonia Refrigeration Fails to Meet Standards

ammonia refrigeration
Bryan Kilgore for Zondits, April 3, 2015

Less than 20% out of a survey of 100 food manufacturing facilities in the UK using ammonia refrigeration systems met the required safety legislation. Many of these facilities are working with ammonia refrigeration systems for the first time due to environmental laws related to refrigerants. The survey was performed by Stephen Gill Associates, who concluded that confusion by both plant operators and consultants prevented adequate risk assessment.

UK’s dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres regulations (DSEAR) put into effect the minimum requirements for improving health and safety for workers in potential explosive atmosphere environments from the EU’s ATEX 137 directive. Employer requirements of these regulations include assessment and classification of areas at risk for an explosive atmosphere, equipment selection that limits ignition sources, marking entry points to risk zones, and providing anti-static clothing to personnel working in risk zones.

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Survey finds 80% of UK ammonia refrigeration fails to meet dangerous substances standards

RAC, February 26, 2015

A survey of over 100 ammonia refrigeration systems operating in food manufacturing facilities in the UK found that under 20% met legislation covering dangerous and explosive materials.

The survey by consultant Stephen Gill Associates also revealed that 30% of sites had either no risk assessment or inadequate ones for their ammonia refrigeration systems.

The ATEX 137 Directive on explosive substances requires that all companies operating with areas, (including those containing ammonia refrigeration plant), classified as ‘Hazardous’ classify their production areas into zones and assess the risks both to their employees and their plant assets.  While the majority of the sites in the survey had DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations) assessments for the rest of the site, the ammonia refrigeration plants had been ‘by-passed’ as they were considered ‘too specialist’, according to the consultancy.

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