GCAP CoolCast: Garden City Ammonia Program

Implementing Process Safety Management for Ammonia Refrigeration

by on Jun.15, 2013, under News

Too often in the Ammonia refrigeration industry the people tasked with creating and maintaining the Process Safety Management systems that cover our refrigeration systems are simply shown a collection of binders and told “Good Luck.” Most PSM practitioners we know have suffered this fate at least once in their careers and were nearly overwhelmed trying to make sense of reams of paperwork with little training and even fewer resources. GCAP set out to create this book as a guide that could be used as a basis of understanding for each new person “tossed to the wolves” in the PSM realm.

“Implementing Process Safety Management for Ammonia Refrigeration” was written for the exclusive use of Garden City Ammonia Program as a textbook for their Process Safety Management class and to outline a standard of educational material, guidelines, and best practices for the Ammonia industry. Throughout the years we’ve all met hundreds of PSM practitioners and every one left at least one good idea with each of us; In some sense, the text presented here represents the collected wisdom of those hundreds of PSM practitioners operating thousands of facilities. Our focus is on real-world implementation; with due deference given to the practical needs of the facility, the requirements under the regulations and the challenges we face in an increasingly fast-paced and competitive business world.

Most of the PSM implementations in our industry rely on the IIAR’s Process Safety Management Guidelines for Ammonia Refrigeration and its companion Risk Management Program Guidelines for Ammonia Refrigeration. While we believe these books provided an excellent resource for their time, PSM implementation has continued to evolve rapidly in the years since they were published and they no longer reflect the “state of the art”. This book is an attempt to re-envision Process Safety Management implementation based on the experiences of the Ammonia refrigeration industry over the past 15+ years.

OSHA’s NEP or National Emphasis Program (and the fines that came with it) has served to highlight the deficiencies in the way Process Safety Management for Ammonia refrigeration is currently implemented. The NEP draws from PSM experience in the chemical process and petroleum refinery sectors, so we have adopted some of the ideas and approaches present in the excellent Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) books to improve the system first presented by the IIAR considerably. We believe that the IIAR is still the appropriate source for information regarding the proper design, installation, maintenance, and operation of mechanical Ammonia refrigeration systems; however we turn to the CCPS and other organizations for guidance on how the Process Safety Management programs that cover these systems should be designed and implemented.

We at GCAP thank you for investing your time in our Process Safety Management course. When you attend a GCAP course you are joining a family of over 10,000 Ammonia professionals throughout the world. Please always think of the GCAP team as a resource at your disposal when you have questions about PSM implementation or any Ammonia refrigeration topic.

Your ability to effectively coordinate, your dedication, your talents and your hard work will be the deciding factors in your PSM implementation. Process Safety Management is a “Team Sport” and while many teams have star players, everyone’s contribution is invaluable if the team is to reach their goals. The oft-repeated line “A bad system will beat a good employee every time” is absolutely true when it comes to PSM implementation so remember that the Process Safety Management system you implement in your facility must reflect both the unique needs of that facility and its personnel.

Download GCAPs Intro Chapter of the Book Now

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