SSE MFG., INC.- MINH FOOD CORPORATION - Executive Summary
Schwan's has historically placed a high priority on chemical |
safety. The corporate environmental compliance manager has been
assigned overall responsibility for chemical safety in general and
for ammonia refrigeration safety in particular since 1991.
Schwan's maintains 3 - shift coverage of emergency responders
trained to the 24-hour technician level at all facilities with
ammonia refrigeration systems covered by this rule.
The Pasadena, TX facility manufactures frozen egg rolls. Anhydrous
ammonia is used in the refrigeration system at this facility.
Ammonia is the most efficient and environmentally compatible
refrigerant available. Although it is toxic at high concentration
and is an irritating gas, it is not a cumulative metabolic poison,
does not cause cancer or other dread diseases and does not cause
lasting environmental damage. The refrigeration system at this
facility contains about 45,000 pounds of ammonia.
Schwan's calculates ammonia worst case release scenarios
Model RMP for Ammonia Refrigeration, May 1996. All Schwan's
manufacturing facilities are located in areas that meet the
definition of "urban". Schwan's has chosen to calculate worst case
release poundage for the largest high-pressure receiver in the
system, filled to full calculated hydraulic capacity. Reduced
volume for administrative controls was not used, since the
described scenario would probably occur only as a result of a
catastrophic vessel rupture caused by a total filling of the
vessel, closure of all vessel block valves, failure of all
pressure relief valves, with a simultaneous increase in liquid
temperature sufficient to overpressure the vessel to the point of
It is the professional judgement of Schwans Environmental Health
and Safety Department that a release rate of 400 lb./min. should
be used as an alternate case scenario in lieu of the 100 lb./min.
rate suggested in the Model RMP.
The "urban" site condition will be used.
Based on t
he above, the worst-case ammonia release scenario for
the Pasadena, TX facility will be 14,700 pounds released over a
10-minute period. The alternate case will be a release rate of 400
pounds per minute. Both scenarios have off-site impacts.
The ammonia refrigeration system is covered by the OSHA Process
Safety Management (PSM) rule, 29 CFR 1910.119.
The Pasadena, TX facility maintains a 3-shift emergency response
team, trained at the 24-hour technician level. The team numbers 20
members. The training is conducted by the Vendor. The training is
designed with a heavy emphasis on ammonia safety, mechanical
isolation, personal protective equipment up to use of Level `A'
suits and interaction with an incident command system (ICS).
Copies of emergency plans are filed with the Fire Department and
annual facility walkthroughs are conducted with Fire Officers.
Preplanned command posts and staging areas have been designated
and Incident Command transfer and liaison functions have
established. A post-incident debriefing is conducted after each
Since a continuous improvement philosophy is deeply imbedded in
the Schwan's corporate culture, improvements in system safety are
implemented as a result of employee-based Total Quality Management
(TQM) teams, a designated PSM team and as a result of system
engineering modifications and extensions. Post incident
debriefings and incident investigations are used to identify
additional improvements to system safety.