OSHA Standards for Ammonia Refrigeration Systems

Cold storage and food processing facilities often struggle with finding the best solution to meet the requirements of the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard 29 CFR 1910.119, IIAR Bulletin 110, and the ANSI/IIAR Standard 6. IIAR 6 establishes the minimum requirements for inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) applicable to safe closed-circuit ammonia refrigeration systems, while the Bulletin No. 110 provides guidelines.  The OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.119  applies to Ammonia refrigeration systems with 10,000 pounds or more of ammonia and requires employers to establish and implement written procedures to maintain the on-going integrity evaluation of the applicable equipment.  This standard also requires that the inspections and tests performed are in keeping with the manufactures recommendations for the equipment, this includes ammonia piping and pressure vessels.

Mechanical integrity program requirements

Mechanical Integrity (MI) programs are a required part of the OSHA PSM regulations. Mechanical Integrity is the management of critical process equipment to ensure it is designed and installed correctly, and that all elements are fit for service. A comprehensive mechanical integrity program takes into account the inspection and testing of the equipment using procedures that are recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP).  It should also include written procedures to be implemented, and ensure the adequate training of employees tasked with maintaining the ongoing integrity of process equipment.  Within the Ammonia Refrigeration Industry, MI programs help ensure the continued reliability of system components and help prevent a failure that could result in the accidental ammonia leakage.

Applus+ offers a wide array of inspection methods to guarantee the integrity of equipment and safety of ammonia cooling systems

Potential areas of concern within the ammonia refrigeration industry include internal and external corrosion, pitting and wall loss, touch point corrosion at pipe supports, damage and deterioration to protective coating and insulation, and damage to pressure safety and relief valves. At Applus+, we offer an array of inspection methods to ensure the integrity of ammonia system equipment including: API 653/510/570 Visual Inspection (VI), Ultrasonic Inspection (UT), Computed Radiography (CR), Magnetic Particle Inspection (MT), Liquid Penetrant (PT), and Pulsed Eddy Current (IncoTest). Our experience and knowledge of the operation of refrigeration systems allows us to identify critical points most susceptible to corrosion, expansion or contraction, physical damage, leakage, or exposure to weather or process elements. This careful selection of inspection methods and points further enhances the value of an inspection and testing program. Based on the inspection results, a determination of deficient components is made, a corrosion rate is established, and the remaining life of a component is estimated. Clients are able to use these results to ensure compliance with OSHA PSM regulations, minimize risks related to refrigeration with ammonia and ensure the safe operation of their refrigeration systems.

Applus+ provides value to our clients’ Process Safety Management programs, and prioritizes safety, asset integrity, becoming an integral part of the team and operations.