Anhydrous Ammonia Safety: NH3 Details for Dealers


  • Develop "Site Specific Safety Plan" which includes emergency, maintenance and troubleshooting procedures,
  • Galvanized pipe is NOT to be used for anhydrous NH3 service...even for temporary repairs,
  • Identify "sign off" on material manifest before accepting delivery,
  • Unloading lines MUST be compatible for NH3 service,
  • Be sure unloading lines are attached and secure,
  • Be available during unloading to initiate emergency plans,
  • Properly disconnect and secure plant valves following unloading,
  • Set up inspection and testing procedures to be applied to ALL storage tanks,
  • Equipment should:
    • be additives compatible,
    • meet NH3 codes and standards,

  • Any equipment replacement MUST be made "IN KIND"
    • same materials of construction,
    • same specifications.

  • Unloading hoses must meet same 5 year replacement criteria as facility transfer tanks, and
  • Stainless steel hoses are recommended for nurse tank risers.

  • Nurse tank contents SHOULD NOT be transferred back to 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 baffle is detached...remove tank from service,
  • A 5 gallon container of clean and easily accessible water MUST be mounted to the nurse tank, and
  • Multiple water sources should be available.

  • Opening control valves too quickly may cause excess flow valves to shut,
  • Manual valves are to be opened WIDE when transferring liquid ammonia from tank car to storage tank,
  • Relief valves must be stamped with replacement date,
  • Take 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,

  • Applicator valves on top of tank should be protected by rollover cage... a strap-on design rollover cage should be considered for upgrading applicator tanks.

  • Towing vehicles should be of adequate size to handle loaded trailer,
  • Each towed trailer should have two (2) safety chains attached...adequately sized and criss-crossed to support the tongue, and
  • Securely locked hitch pins designed for service.

Publication #: 93-13 1

This document is a NIOSH Publication, Publication date: April 1993. This bulletin was produced at the University of Missouri - Columbia in coordination with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201. Phone: (800) 356-4674. Developed by Judy Barnes Oskam, Oklahoma State University and Doug Ross, University of Missouri - Columbia.

This is only a synopsis of anhydrous ammonia safety information. For detailed information, contact your local Cooperative Extension office or agrichemical dealer

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. More