We had a great time once again at the IIAR conference this year in Orlando. Many exciting things happening in the industry. Miguel Beremudez of GCAP even one a nice acoustic guitar from the RETA folks.
A tragic ammonia accident occurred last week in Massachusetts. Brian Caron, 43, died Wednesday in an ammonia leak at a Stavis Seafoods warehouse in South Boston, where he worked as the facilities manager. Caron was overcome by ammonia fumes inside the cold storage warehouse on Channel Street in South Boston. He was one of five workers who smelled the fumes just as their shift ended Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The workers pushed an emergency switch in hopes of stopping the leak, then rushed out the door. Four workers made it out safely, but Caron could not. A hazmat team found his body in a stairwell on the second floor.
The ammonia leak was found in a ruptured 1½-inch metal pipe, said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department. The department is investigating the fatal leak, along with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the pipe to burst, but it could take several weeks, MacDonald said. Here is a link to the report.
Brian was a member of the GCAP family. Our prayers are with his family and dear friends. There is no words that can say what we feel at this time of lost. Here is a link for a chance to donate to his memorial fund for his wife, and two daughters during this time of need.
The Annual IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition is simply the best place for industrial refrigeration professionals to connect, collaborate and discuss the latest innovations and complex issues facing the industry today. It is the best place to learn about the newest ideas, applications and techniques being utilized in the field.
The 2016 IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition being held in Orlando, FL on March 20-23, 2016 offers an unrivaled opportunity for companies to showcase their latest products, services, innovations and technologies and for attendees to meet, network and learn from other industry professionals.
Look forward to seeing some great friends and meeting some new folks. Come by and say high, we will be in booth 522.
It is rare that people within the world will ever physically see liquid anhydrous ammonia existing in nature, it is even rarer for people to see it exist in it’s sublimation state of a solid. This is at conditions below it’s triple point. For liquid ammonia to exist on earth standard atmospheric pressure it must be colder than -28 degrees F. For ammonia to represent a frozen solid, it must be below -107.9 degrees F at standard atmospheric pressures.
When astronauts attempt to connect a new section to the ISS, a deadly ammonia leak threatens the safety of the entire crew. Astronaut Robert Lee Curbeam Jr. must stop the flow of the dangerous chemical.
Kansas City Ammonia Safety Day
Don’t miss this years 8th annual ammonia safety day. If you from Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, or Arkansas come join us for a great chance of education and building relationships within the industry. If you been before, come back and continue the education. If you have never made a GCAP hosted safety day, we encourage you make this years. Last year over 350 participants, 35 vendors, and guest speakers. Must pre-register for the event.
8th Annual Region 7 Ammonia Safety Day
- June 2, 2016
- @ Kansas City Community College @ Kansas City, KS
- $35.00 per attendee
- $400.00 per exhibitor
If interested in sponsoring please contact us, have available breakfast sponsorship, lunch sponsorships, and general sponsors.
GCAP attended one of the largest commercial and industrial HVACR expos in the country this last week in Florida. This included over 2,000 vendors and over 60,000 participants.
This was a great event, and was amazing to see all the new technology available for the industry today.
This year, Craig Boot is applying his friend Paul Vande Noord’s anhydrous. Vande Noord, 71, of Pella, is still recovering from severe eye injuries he sustained last April when he was sprayed with anhydrous.
The incident occurred while he was replacing a bolt that was missing from the breakaway bracket of a rented toolbar.
“We’d just started running (anhydrous) that day,” Vande Noord said. “When I was going over everything, I noticed a hose on the ground. Then, I saw the bolt was gone that connected the right quick connect coupler bracket to the tool bar swivel bracket.”
As he lifted the hose to put the bolt in the brackets at eye level, the coupler sections separated, spraying both his eyes with anhydrous.
“It knocked me down to the front wheel of the tank rig,” Vande Noord said. “My eyes were burning; my eyelids were frozen shut; I couldn’t see. I felt my way back to the emergency water supply on the nurse tank and pulled on the hose, but it cracked and broke. There was no water in it.”
Vande Noord managed to make it back to his pickup where he had a half bottle of water left over from lunch. He poured it in his eyes and drove himself a half-mile to a neighbor’s, feeling his way along a windrow left by the road grader.
He estimates a critical 15 minutes had elapsed in the time it took to get to the neighbor’s before they could start flushing his eyes. His neighbor drove him to the Pella ER.
Vande Noord described the pain: “My foot was crushed in an accident in 2005. That pain didn’t even compare to the burning pain in my eyes.”
He spent a week at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
“I wasn’t able to open my eyes for a month and a half, . . . but we had to open them several times a day to put medicine in them,” he said. His wife, June, was at his side continually for two months.
A year later, he has not regained full vision.
“I’ve only recently been able to see well enough to start working in my shop,” he said. “My eyes still bother me a lot and I can’t take sunlight, dust, chemicals or wind. It bothers me to drive. But I had a good nurse,” he nodded toward June.
“I know I was lucky. I could have been killed,” he said, referring to the “accident near Pilot Mound.”
Mike Shaw, 58, of Ogden, survived the anhydrous release that killed his father in that accident.
In October 2011, he and his dad, Dick, were putting anhydrous on rented ground near Pilot Mound.
Dick got started early on Oct. 29, pulling tandem 1,000-gallon tanks while Mike went to town to get another tank.
“I was on my way back to the field with the tank, and I could see the cloud from a mile away,” Shaw said. He tried to radio his dad but couldn’t get any answer. Shaw called 911 and family members.
Upon arriving at the field, he drove partway into the cloud to locate the tractor. Even inside the truck, the vapor was noxious, and he had to back out.
He parked, turned up the radio and gulped water before going about 35 yards into the cloud, eventually finding the back tire of the anhydrous rig. He felt his way to the shut-off valve on one tank, stumbled out toward the truck radio, and then went back a second time to close the shut-off valve on the second tank.
His third and fourth attempts were to move the still-running tractor clear from the cloud and closer to where firefighters and emergency responders had gathered along the road a half-mile away. His dad was unresponsive.
Mike recounted how he felt unable to breathe and was completely contaminated with anhydrous. His lungs were burning and his skin felt like it was freezing.
Mike was airlifted to Des Moines. He learned two of the paramedics who treated him had also been admitted with anhydrous injuries from exposure to his own clothing and skin.
“My doctor told me, ‘You probably shouldn’t be here, and none of us can explain it,’ ” he said, referring to surviving the release that fatally injured his dad.
Like Paul Vande Noord, Mike Shaw avoids anhydrous exposure and hires his application done now. Both farmers are emphatic about anhydrous safety.
“People always need to be aware of the wind direction and stay upwind in the event of a release,” Shaw said. “You have to think ahead for your plan of escape if a release would occur.”
“Even if you’re doing simple maintenance, make sure to wear protective equipment and have a water supply with you,” Vande Noord added.
Author: Stephanie Leonard, The University of Iowa
Photo courtesy: Stephanie Leonard, The University of Iowa
Credit: This article was originally published in the April 11, 2015 issue of Iowa Farmer Today.
This last week GCAP went to the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle Washington. We had a great time and saw many friends. This expo is the largest commercial marine tradeshow on the West Coast, serving commercial mariners from Alaska to California.
A pair of toxic anhydrous ammonia leaks caused Interstate 90 between Dexter and Elkton to be shut down for hours while a cloud of the chemical moved through. There were no injuries, the fire department reports.
This morning we had the privilege of unloading our two new Vilter Single Screws for the new engine room. These are the first single screws at GCAP and are excited to showcase these machines. It has been a pleasure working with Vilter and especially want to thank Sam Gladis.
The Vilter Single Screw compressor is a rotary, positive displacement compressor which incorporates a main screw and two gaterotors. Compression of the gas is accomplished by the engagement of the two gaterotors with the helical grooves in the main screw. The drive shaft imparts rotary motion to the main screw which in turn drives the intermeshed gaterotors.