The HSE publication PM81, Safe Management of Ammonia Refrigeration Systems, was once considered to be a useful guide as it contained all relevant information in one easy to use reference document. However, the first edition published in 1995 was withdrawn some years ago as it had become out of date.
The new guidance document has been put together over the last year by the Food Storage and Distribution Federation’s Technical and Safety Committee, British Engineering Services, the Institute of Refrigeration and other stakeholders, with support from the Health and Safety Executive.
This new edition applies to new and existing installations (whether permanent or temporary) and indicates the precautions a risk assessment would identify as reasonably practicable to achieve compliance with the detailed legal provisions.
It applies to industrial and commercial refrigeration plant in the food and drinks industry and is relevant for applications in other workplaces, for example ice-rinks and the petrochemical industry. It does not cover domestic or transport refrigeration.
This guidance may go further than the minimum needed to comply with the law but should be read in conjunction with:
• Safety of pressure systems, the Approved Code of Practice and guidance for the Pressure Systems Regulations 2000 (PSSR)
• Dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres, the Approved Code of Practice and guidance for the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR)
• The HSE webpages on pressure systems, fire and explosion and DSEAR.
The new document can be downloaded here.