Even though the weather in Albuquerque was overcast and cool, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration¿s annual conference and exhibition, held from March 16-19, spelled success. The focus of this year¿s technical papers, forums, panel discussions and problem/solution sessions was education and training -- specifically about safety. Process safety management (PSM), risk management programs (RMP) and IIAR¿s proposed guidelines for ammonia refrigeration management (ARM) were among the hot topics at this cooling-focused conference.
Currently, ammonia refrigeration facilities with a charge of more than 10,000 lb of ammonia must comply with OSHA¿s PSM standard, 29 CFR 1910.119. Most others fall under OSHA¿s General Duty Clause. IIAR has developed the ARM program to serve as guidance for those presently covered by the General Duty Clause. At one panel discussion, the positions of two Washington-based agencies, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were presented. OSHA and EPA are reviewing ARM and considering adopting it as guidelines for those plants currently covered under the General Duty Clause. (See ¿Chill Factor,¿ March/April 2003 for more information about ARM.)