CSB safety video detailing key lessons for preventing hydraulic shock in ammonia refrigeration systems based on the CSB’s investigation into the accident at Millard Refrigerated Services Inc. on August 23, 2010. 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia were released to the atmosphere, resulting in over thirty offsite workers being hospitalized – four in an intensive care unit.
The CSB will be presenting at GCAP’s Ammonia Safety Day May 28, 2015. Click here for more info
Dangers of Hydraulic Shock!
Participants from Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Each year brings new topics. Guest speakers on ammonia safety, ammonia refrigeration, PSM/RMP, and RAGAGEP. Lunch will be served and a great chance to continue your education.
Special guest from the CSB (Chemical Safety Board) will give a presentation of lessons learned of the Mobile, AL accident.
May 28, 2015 @ Kansas City Community College
Recently we came across a YouTube video where a teacher named Taylor Mali responded to a rude dinner guest who asked “What do teachers make?”
The video is below and you should watch it:
As educators ourselves, we get the point that Taylor is making and generally applaud it. Some teachers do indeed make a difference – a very real difference – in the lives of their students. Taylor is taking a question that was made about his income and re-directing it to what he actually does for a living. Yes, teachers can make a difference – but some don’t. For that matter, there are plenty of lawyers that make a difference too.
Ultimately we should judge people by what they accomplish – not what their “profession” or job title is. With the rise of the college graduates since World War II, it’s our opinion that people have forgotten the value of real work. While there are some great people out there like Mike Rowe who are praising the value of the skilled trades, work defined as “blue collar” feels as if it’s looked down on.
Thankfully, the vast majority of the people in the skilled trades aren’t the kind of people that need a pat on the back on an hourly basis. They’re the self-motivated people who take pride in a job – ANY job – well done. There’s a story from 1961 where President John F. Kennedy was said to be touring the NASA headquarters during the race to put a man on the moon. JFK was said to stop a man holding a mop – a janitor – what he did at the facility. The man’s response was “Sir, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”
Years ago, while working at a facility that made Ice Cream, we had a tour of grade-school children come through to see how an Ice Cream factory operated. When the kids left, the Plant Manager said something to me that I’ll never forget: “Did you see their faces when they tried the ice cream right out of the freezer? Man, we don’t make Ice Cream. We make smiles!”
That thinking – knowing that you are part of a larger project and exerting your best personal effort to do your part – that’s what makes the skilled trades a pleasure to work with. In the skilled trades, you’re still judged by the quality of your work rather than your credentials or your history. Nobody cares how many classes you took if you can’t trouble-shoot the broken machine! You’re judged by whether you can get the machine running when it’s supposed to be running and how it’s supposed to be running.
“Thank you for letting us be part of your success!”
You can check out Mike Rowe’s website for more information on his foundation promoting the skilled trades.
Scenario: Manufacturing is shutdown for long holiday weekend. Upon their return after the long holiday weekend, the refrigeration techs find the refrigeration process shutdown and they are unable to restart the system for some reason. They call in their refrigeration contractor who determines that the system is EMPTY – NO NH3! The facility assumes that a PSV must have failed prematurely and thus changed all their PSV over the next three months; only to find out later that the release was caused by the failure of a high pressure cutout switch on the ammonia refrigeration compressor(s) which occurred due to inadequate preventative maintenance of the anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system and inadequate procedures and checklists for checks of the system by weekend operators.
Imagine loosing your entire charge over a three day weekend… and your technicians trying to restart the process upon their return and none of them being wise to the fact that the process is EMPTY. EPA’s solution was a SEP that requires the company to change from NH3 refrigeration to a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (“HCFC”) refrigerant.
GCAP will be hosting an Ammonia Operator I Seminar at Bridgerland Applied Technology College.
The mission of the Bridgerland Applied Technology College is to deliver competency-based, employer-guided career and technical education to both secondary and post-secondary students through traditional and technology-enhanced methodologies. This hands-on technical education provides occupational education, skills training, and workforce development to support the educational and economic development of the Bear River Region.
Seats are limited, Register Today
January 15, 2014, East Rutherford, NJ – Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a safety bulletin intended to inform industries that utilize anhydrous ammonia in bulk refrigeration operations on how to avoid a hazard referred to as hydraulic shock. The safety lessons were derived from an investigation into a 2010 anhydrous ammonia release that occurred at Millard Refrigerated Services Inc., located in Theodore, Alabama.
This abnormal transient condition results in a sharp pressure rise with the potential to cause catastrophic failure of piping, valves, and other components – often prior to a hydraulic shock incident there is an audible “hammering” in refrigeration piping. The incident at Millard caused a roof-mounted 12-inch suction pipe to catastrophically fail, resulting in the release of more than 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia.
Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “The CSB believes that if companies in the ammonia refrigeration industry follow the key lessons from its investigation into the accident at Millard Refrigeration Services, dangerous hydraulic shock events can be avoided – preventing injuries, environmental damage, and potential fatalities.”
2015 GCAP Training Tour
GCAP has been involved in industrial training since 2003. We travel across the world to meet your training needs.
We are looking for 12 different locations in 2015 to host an Ammonia Operator I / Boiler Level 1 / or PSM/RMP course seminars.
If you or your company would like to host one of these seminars, GCAP is looking for participants. Please contact Kristen De La Pena of GCAP to see the requirements. 620.271.0037 or ammonia@Pld.com
- January 26 – 29, 2015: PSM/RMP @ Clovis, CA
- January 26 – 29, 2015: Ammonia Operator I @ Phoenix, AZ
- February 9 – 12, 2015: Ammonia Operator I @ Bakersfield, CA
- February 16 – 19, 2015: PSM/RMP @ Denedin, FL
- February 23 – 26, 2015: PSM/RMP @ Fort Worth, TX
- June 29 – July 2, 2015: Ammonia Operator II @ Bakersfield, CARegister Today
Look for GCAP coming to a city or area near you.
Grand Rapids, MI
Salt Lake City, UT
What a way to finish 2014. Thank you all for your support and GCAP’s staff to make opening doors of our new expansion possible this year. We will be hosting our first class in the new classroom starting this week.