Arena Worker Injured
A worker was adding oil to an ammonia compressor. The drain valve was opened without the oil hose being attached first, and the oil and ammonia were released with pressure.
Injury Type: Exposure to ammonia
Core Activity: Ice rink maintenance
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Although details of the incident are not available at this time the ORFA reminds Arena Personnel that safe operation and maintenance of refrigeration equipment is always a number one priority in rink operation. Equally important is the prevention of refrigerant leakage into the atmosphere. One potential problem area occurs when refrigerant accidentally leaks into the atmosphere during compressor oil charging. When charging (adding) oil to every rink should use an in-line check valve when pumping oil into a compressor. Should the charging hose rupture during filling, it ensures that no oil or ammonia will discharge from the crankcase into the atmosphere - avoiding both injury and liability. Installation of a Spring Return (Deadman) Valve on the chiller oil drain connection is the first step to safe maintenance Not only does it allow easy oil drainage, but it also has a built in “snap return” feature - with the detection of liquid refrigerant the valve can be released and drain flow will immediately stop! Proper use of oil draining devices will minimize the chances of accidental injury or environmental contamination - while also providing a safer working environment.