Westward Seafoods, Inc. - Executive Summary

| Accident History | Chemicals | Emergency Response | Registration | Source | Executive Summary |

Westward Seafoods, Inc Prevention Program has been developed over a three-year period and is reviewed annually.  The prevention program developed here has been used as a model for facilities and public response teams around the United States.  The primary reason for the low probability of community impact is the rural location of this facility.  Another key reason for the continuing safe operation of this facility is the 'down time' each year, which allows for in-depth inspections annually.  Programs in use include 'management of change', 'mechanical integrity inspections', 'hot work permits', 'lock-out, tag-out' and daily inspections of critical processes.  Westward Seafoods maintains employees on site 24-hours a day when in operation. The facility 'emergency response plan' has been divided into 10 areas that are divided by walls and/or are separated from the rest of the facility by being located in separate buildings. Nine of the areas can be brought under control without entry into  
the affected area.  The other area can be brought under control with minimal entry in two stages.  All entrances that are to be used to mitigate releases are mapped and marked.  All valves, buttons, and switches used to mitigate releases are mapped and marked.  The emergency response plan has all entrances, pathways, valves, buttons, and switches identified by number, photos and maps.  The local public emergency response team leader (Fire Chief Dave Gregory) has reviewed and walked the emergency response plan to the extent that Chief Gregory believes his group could implement the plan in the unlikely event that all Westward Seafoods employees were unavailable.  The worse case scenario is extremely unlikely if not impossible and the circle of influence would include the town of Unalaska.  However the terrain present would not allow the ammonia to impact the town, and the impacted population would be approx. 100 rather than the 4000 reported.  The alternate release is also unlikely as 90 
% the ammonia is contained within buildings, which are operated with the doors closed.  The alternate release would not impact any public receptors other than a fishing supply store located at the outer edge of the release circle.  Employees who all have been trained on reporting procedures can detect ammonia releases.  Oral reports are supplemented by alarms.  All evacuations are to shelter in place locations at the facility, where all employees can be safely sheltered from the weather and ammonia. Once the release pressures and flows have been reduced or stopped, then the refrigeration operators can dress in the appropriate PPE and make the necessary repair.  Each year inspections are taken to higher levels of acceptance.  This year's inspection for mechanical integrity of piping focused on erosion from salt water brine coming in contact with ammonia piping.  The decision was made to study moving a brine washing unit away from ammonia pipes in addition to continue to coat the pipes  
with protective paint.  Westward Seafoods is continuing to seek ways to further protect the community as well as their employees from injury or illness with a continuing process of review and inspections.
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