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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1993 Nov;54(11):671-7.

A hazard and operability study of anhydrous ammonia application in agriculture.

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Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.


Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) applied Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) analysis to examine hazards during the use of anhydrous ammonia by farmers. This analysis evaluated the storage, transfer, and application of anhydrous ammonia, identifying credible hazard scenarios, practical solutions, and research needs. Ninety-five findings were developed that are of use to farmers, distributors of ammonia and application equipment, and manufacturers of application equipment. The findings generally involve training, equipment design changes, preventive maintenance, and material compatibilities. The HAZOP team found that additional safety features need to be developed or implemented. The study also pointed out where correct operator procedure and preventive maintenance can prevent inadvertent releases. Other inadvertent releases are caused by incompatible materials, or by using equipment in ways other than intended. Several examples of the findings are given to emphasize the HAZOP technique and the high-risk scenarios. Strategies for dissemination to the agricultural community are presented.

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