Refrigeration Hazards on Land and Sea
Ammonia is widely used as a refrigerant in industrial workplaces such as food and beverage processing, cold storage warehouses, petrochemical sites, and food processing/storage facilities aboard ships. Ammonia is considered a significant health hazard because it is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs and is also flammable. Because of the need for extensive personal protective equipment such as respirators or Level A HazMat gear, workers often have significant difficulty communicating, especially when working in high noise environments such as compressor rooms and production areas.
OSHA has recently released a new fact sheet regarding refrigeration system hazards aboard shipping vessels. Employers are reminded that when workers are alone or in confined spaces, they must be accounted for by sight or verbal communication at regular intervals to ensure safety. See helpful resources below, and contact CavCom to learn more about effective communication systems designed for refrigeration and other challenging work environments.