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  • 2015. University of New Hampshire. All rights reserved.

    Emergency Action Plan Whittemore Center Arena

    Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration System

    Prepared for:

    University of New Hampshire Office of Environmental Health & Safety

    11 Leavitt Lane Durham, New Hampshire 03824

    January 2016

  • J:\OEHS Plans and Programs\Emergency Action Plans\Whittemore

    Revision Log

    Date of revision Description Facility Representative December 2011 Original Plan Brad Manning July 2014 Review and update plan to

    address recommendations from Durham Fire Department

    Brad Manning

    November 2015 Updated emergency Contacts to include Jonathan Pistey

    Karrie Myer

    January 2016 Formal Review and language updates

    Karrie Myer

  • J:\OEHS Plans and Programs\Emergency Action Plans\Whittemore

    Table of Contents

    I. Purpose and Introduction .......................................................................................................1

    II. Hazard Evaluation .................................................................................................................2

    III. Emergency Alarm Systems ...................................................................................................3

    IV. Emergency Shutdown System ...............................................................................................3

    V. Emergency Response and Notification ................................................................................4

    VI. Emergency Evacuation and Accountability .........................................................................5

    VII. Employee Training and Exercises .........................................................................................5

    VIII. Regulatory Notifications .......................................................................................................5

    IX. Emergency Contact List ........................................................................................................6

    Attachment A Safety Data Sheet Attachment B Facility Site Plan Attachment C Emergency Shutdown System Locations Attachment D Evacuation Routes Attachment E Fire Department Agreement Letter Attachment F Standard Operating Procedures for Release Response

  • he University of New Hampshire Whittemore Center Arena Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration System January 2016 Emergency Action Plan Page 1 of 7

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    I. Purpose and Introduction This emergency action plan has been developed for the University of New Hampshires (UNH) Whittemore Center Arena to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.38 for potential emergency situations related to the anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system. This plan does not apply to small leaks and mishaps which can be successfully covered under the facilitys hazard communication program required by 29 CFR 1910.1200. The key points of UNHs hazard communication response are that partial or total evacuation is not necessary and employees in the immediate work area of the release or mishap can safely handle the situation. The purpose of this emergency action plan is to provide information to the employees and establish employee actions for the response to an accidental release of anhydrous ammonia at the Whittemore Center that is beyond UNHs capabilities under its hazard communication program. OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.120(q) (emergency response program to hazardous substance release) does not apply per 1910.120(q)(1) since UNH will evacuate their employees from the danger area when an emergency occurs and will rely on an outside party to provide emergency response. Person to contact for information on this Emergency Action Plan: Primary: Jontahan Pistey

    Facilities Manager, Campus Recreation Whittemore Center Arena

    Secondary: Thomas Smith

    UNH Senior Facilities Manager 603-608-9191 (cell)

    UNH will review this plan annually in conjunction with the annual employee training and will update it as necessary.

    The Whittemore Center Arena maintains a closed loop anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system for year round ice rink temperature control. Ammonia is a widely used refrigerant because it can be liquefied easily by compression or cooling, and when returned to its gaseous state can absorb large amounts of heat. The Whittemores system consists of three compressors (two in operation and one for back-up), an exterior holding tank for the liquid phase, an internal holding tank where the ammonia transitions from liquid to gas and a cooling tower above the exterior tank. The exterior tank and cooling tower are located directly outside the compressor room. The exterior tank holds a maximum of 1,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. Return and supply pipes connect the exterior equipment to the compressors. The compressors, internal tank and piping are located in the compressor room. The system is an indirect heat transfer system where the energy from the refrigeration process is transferred to a brine solution which is circulated in the piping underneath the ice rink. Therefore, ammonia is limited to the compressor room and exterior storage tank adjacent to the cooling tower.

  • he University of New Hampshire Whittemore Center Arena Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration System January 2016 Emergency Action Plan Page 2 of 7

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    II. Hazard Evaluation Anhydrous ammonia is a clear, colorless gas with a pungent, irritating odor. Anhydrous means without water. Refrigerant grade anhydrous ammonia is at least 99.95% pure ammonia. Ammonia is extremely soluble in water. Anhydrous ammonia boils at a temperature of -28 F. Liquid anhydrous ammonia is stored in tanks under pressure. When the pressure is released, the liquid evaporates rapidly, generally forming an invisible vapor or gas. The rapid evaporation causes the temperature of the liquid to drop until it reaches the normal boiling point of -28 F. Liquid and gas ammonia expand and contract with changes in pressure and temperature. Anhydrous ammonia is considerably lighter than air and will rise in dry air. However, due to ammonias affinity for water, it can react with the humidity in the air and may remain close to the ground and form a dense, visible white cloud. The safety data sheet (SDS) for anhydrous ammonia, included in Attachment A, is maintained on file in the operations office (arena staff), compressor room and the fire command station. These areas are identified on the site plan contained in Attachment B. Detection level: According to OSHA, ammonia has an odor detection threshold of 5 to 50 ppm. The pungent and distinctive odor of the vapor, even at low concentrations provides adequate warning so that no person will voluntarily remain in concentrations which are hazardous. Exposure Limits: The OSHA regulations establish a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 parts per million (ppm) as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA). The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have recommended airborne exposure limits of 25 ppm as a 10-hour TWA and 35 ppm not to be exceeded during any 15 minute period. The American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has established threshold limit values of 25 ppm (8-hour TWA) and 35 ppm for short term exposure. The OSHA limit is a regulatory limit and the NIOSH and ACGIH limits are recommended levels. Flammability: Ammonia is classified by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a nonflammable gas. First Aid: As a result of its affinity for water, ammonia gas can be irritating to the eyes, throat and breathing passages. Ammonia in either the vapor or liquid state primarily affects the eyes, lungs and skin. Accordingly, the best means of providing first aid for an injury caused by ammonia contact with the eyes or skin is to flush immediately with clean water. Remove contaminated clothing, but only after flushing with water to prevent skin from sticking to clothing. Promptness in initiating treatment, using adequate quantities of water and continuing its application for at least fifteen minutes or longer if necessary, are all essential in successful first aid management of an eye or skin injury resulting from contact with ammonia. Immediate medical attention should also be obtained. In the event of inhalation, the exposed individual should be taken to a clean uncontaminated area. For severe exposure to high concentrations, the individual should receive immediate medical attention.

  • he University of New Hampshire Whittemore Center Arena Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration System January 2016 Emergency Action Plan Page 3 of 7

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    There are two first aid kits located in the Whittemore Centers operations office; one is portable and the second is permanent. There are two automated external defibrillator (AED) machines located at the loading dock and in the concourse. An eye wash and emergency shower are located at the loading dock. The eye wash is checked weekly for proper water flow. The loading dock, concourse, eye wash and shower are identified on the attached site plan (Attachment B). All full time arena personnel are trained in basic first aid including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and operation of the AED machines. III. Emergency Alarm Systems There are two ammonia sensors mounted 8-10 feet high on a centrally located pillar in the compressor room. One sensor is continuously monitoring the concentration of ammonia in the room. The second sensor is for ba

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