fact sheet is a general summary of anhydrous ammonia safety
guidelines for farmers, ranchers, agricultural workers, and
plant operators. For detailed information, contact your local
ammonia is a chemical made up of one part nitrogen (N) and three
parts hydrogen (H3
). Anhydrous ammonia (NH3
is one of the most widely used sources of nitrogen for plant
means "without water." Because NH3 contains no water, it is
attracted to any form of moisture. If you are exposed to NH3
immediately flush the exposed body area(s) with water for
at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately after
emergency first aid treatment.
be blind to the dangers of anhydrous ammonia. Exposure to anhydrous
ammonia can cause blindness, lung damage, burns, or death.
be safe using anhydrous ammonia, always:
personal protective equipment, including:
proper work shoes.
an ample water supply close by.
inspect hoses and valves and replace them as needed.
careful not to fill a tank over 85 percent of capacity.
off hose pressure before disconnecting.
clear of hose and valve openings.
regulations when using equipment.
a qualified technician repair the tank.
the proper hitch, safety chains, and a Slow Moving Vehicle
sign when towing.
should be additives compatible and meet NH3
and standards. Any equipment replacement MUST be made "IN KIND"
with the same materials of construction and the same specifications.
tank cutting or welding must be done only by a certified welder
with R-stamp or U-stamp, or equivalent. If baffle is detached,
remove the tank from service.
vehicles should be of adequate size to handle the loaded trailer.
Each towed trailer should have two safety chains attached, adequately
sized, and criss-crossed to support the tongue. The hitch pins
should be securely locked and designed for the intended purpose.
a "Site Specific Safety Plan" which includes emergency,
maintenance, and troubleshooting procedures.
NOT use galvanized pipe for anhydrous NH3 service-even
for temporary repairs.
"sign off" on material manifest before accepting delivery.
unloading lines. Remember that they MUST be compatible for
sure unloading lines are attached and secure.
available during unloading to initiate emergency plans.
disconnect and secure plant valves following unloading.
up inspection and testing procedures to be applied to ALL
hoses must meet the same five-year replacement criteria as facility
transfer tanks. Stainless steel hoses are recommended for nurse
tank contents SHOULD NOT be transferred back to the storage
tank. Nurse tank cutting or welding is ONLY to be done by a
certified welder with R-stamp or U-stamp, or equivalent. If
the baffle is detached, remove the tank from service.
container of clean and easily accessible water MUST be mounted
to the nurse tank. Multiple water sources should be available.
control valves too quickly may cause excess flow valves
valves are to be opened WIDE when transferring liquid ammonia
from tank car to storage tank.
valves must be stamped with the replacement date.
extra caution when using additives in fill valves to minimize
corrosion. Flush with additive-free ammonia, or add small
amount of lubricating oil after additive.
valves on top of the tank should be protected by a rollover
strap-on design rollover cage should be considered for upgrading
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers
for Disease Control.
more information about agricultural safety and health, contact:
Project Director, Oklahoma Agricultural Health Promotion System,
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma
State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, 405-744-5427,
or The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, 1-800-35-NIOSH
Extension Specialist, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering,
Oklahoma State University.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.