Affiliated Foods - Executive Summary
AFFILIATED FOODS |
RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
1. General accidental release and prevention policy of Affiliated Foods.
In this frozen food distribution center we utilize anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant. Anhydrous
ammonia is considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency. The same properties
that make ammonia a valuable refrigerant also makes it necessary to observe certain safety
precautions during it's use to prevent exposure to our workers, the surrounding community and
It is our policy at Affiliated Foods to implement the requirements of the Risk Management
Program by managing and operating this facility in full compliance with all applicable federal and
state regulations that we are governed by. The objective is to minimize the risk of an accidental
release of hazardous materials. Safety depends directly on
our proper handling of ammonia. Our
plant personnel have been trained on the equipment operating procedures and the various safety
devices that are incorporated in our facility to prevent the possibility of accidental releases.
2. Stationary source and regulated substance handled.
Affiliated Foods, 12103 I-30, Little Rock, Arkansas, operates a refrigeration system utilizing
anhydrous ammonia as the primary refrigerant.
Mechanical refrigeration is a thermodynamic process where the refrigerant, ammonia, is used as a
heat exchanging fluid to maintain a desired temperature in an enclosed environment. The
refrigeration cycle consists of evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion.
Evaporation and condensation are designed to alter the quantity of energy associated with the
refrigerant. Compression and expansion are designed to change the availability of the associated
energy. The refrigeration cycle is a closed loop process. The ammonia cycle utilizes fluid
perature, pressure and latent heat of vaporization for cooling. The refrigeration system uses
this phenomenon to remove heat from a desired space, and then to discard that heat through
condensation, to an area where it is of no consequence.
The Affiliated Foods facility uses ammonia refrigeration to maintain storage room temperatures
for various types of fresh and frozen food distributed to their customers. The refrigeration system
contains the following equipment: Three screw compressors, one evaporative condensers, one
high pressure receiver, one recirculator, one accumulator, one balance tank, twelve cooler/freezer
evaporators and a system purger. The refrigeration system contains 14,000 pounds of aggregate
There are approximately 350 employees at this facility which includes hourly and salary personnel.
This distribution facility receives and prepares shipment of frozen and refrigerated food products
via tractor trailers approximately 24 hours a day, six da
ys a week.
The potential hazards that could lead to an accidental release of the ammonia include, but are not
limited to, equipment failure, damage to piping, damage to equipment, human error, etc.
Although ammonia is a colorless, tasteless liquid, it's dominant characteristic is it's pungent,
distinct odor. Persons exposed to ammonia will not voluntarily stay in areas of even small
concentrations, although these levels would not normally result in any health risks. Risks from
accidental exposure to ammonia in a vapor state are irritations to the eyes, nose and throat. The
extent of irritation depends on the exposure amount and length of time exposed.
Ammonia is classified non-flammable by the Department of Transportation. Ammonia will burn,
but only in a very narrow concentration level when accompanied with a constant ignition source.
3. Worst case and alternate case release scenarios including administrative and
engineering controls to limit/ prevent accident
Worst case scenario depicts continuous source leak from the High Pressure Receiver located
inside the plant machine room. This vessels normal operating level is 5,500 pounds of liquid
ammonia, approximately 50% of it's total capacity. Although the receiver is capable of holding
11,000 pounds of liquid ammonia, this far exceeds company policy and engineering controls
which limits the liquid level to a maximum of 80% at any time. Considering the "catastrophic"
possibility does exist for this vessel to release it's entire contents, engineering controls
incorporated into the system would normally prevent such a release.
Worst case release scenario criteria for the Affiliated Foods facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 5,500 pounds
Rate of Release: 550 lbs / min. (10 min. release)
LOC (Level of Concern): 200 ppm (EPA ERPG-2)
Physical State: Gas
Type of Area:
Wind Speed: 1.5 m/sec
Distance to Endpoint 1.4 miles
Alternate release scenario is represented by the release of ammonia vapor from a safety relief
valve (SRV) due to an overpressurization condition on the high temperature recirculator vessel
located within the Affiliated Foods facility machine room. The indicated relief valve would be
performing exactly as it is designed to do during an overpressurization condition. Valve would
open to relieve the over-pressure and vent into the atmosphere via the roof vent pipe.
Alternate case release scenario criteria for Affiliated Foods facility:
Ammonia Quantity: 150 pounds
Rate of Release: 23 pounds/min. (14 min. release)
Wind Speed: 3.0 m/sec.
Distance to Endpoint: .1 miles
The following administrative and engineering controls are in p
lace at Affiliated
Foods. These controls are designed to eliminate, or reduce the possibilities of an accidental
release from the refrigeration system.
* Electronic ammonia detection in compressor room. Alarm system activates a local
audible alarm and a pager system indicating an ammonia leak in the monitored areas.
* High level switches are configured to accumulator and recirculators which shut down
compressor operation during a high level condition.
* All compressors are configured with critical safety controls (high pressure, low pressure,
high oil temp cut-outs, etc.) to shut down the respective compressor in the event of an abnormal
* Safety Relief Valves are configured to all pressure vessels, condensers and compressor
oil separators to eliminate over pressurization conditions in those associated pieces of equipment.
* Periodic Maintenance Program is incorporated into the maintenance department to
ensure the refrigeration system and it's components are kept in optimum mechanical and operating
4. Five-year accident history.
Affiliated Foods facility at Little Rock has had zero accidental releases to report.
5. Emergency Response Program
The purpose of the Affiliated Foods Emergency Action Plan is to:
1. Minimize exposure to our employees and the surrounding community in the event of a
hazardous material release or spill.
2. Assure the safe emergency evacuation of the plant in the instance that it is required.
3. Provide for prompt medical attention to any employees who become seriously injured
or ill at work.
4. Facility management has developed an Emergency Response Plan to ensure a fast and
efficient response in the event of an accidental release of hazardous materials.
Our Emergency Action Plan currently meets requirements as set forth in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38,
Employee Emergency and F
ire Prevention Plans.