Farm Safety: Use Caution When Working with Anhydrous Ammonia

    It’s easy for farmers to get complacent when working with anhydrous ammonia, said Kent McGuire, safety and health coordinator with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

    But injuries from accidental exposure “could get very serious, very quickly,” McGuire said.

    Anhydrous ammonia is one of the most widely used sources of nitrogen fertilizer among corn growers. The product is stored in tanks, called nurse tanks, as a liquid under pressure. Once it is released into the soil or the air it turns to vapor.

    Anyone who handles anhydrous ammonia needs to understand the potential for injury and know how to respond in an emergency, McGuire said. When you suffer from a personal injury, it is best to hire a Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. personal-injury lawyer who can guide you about the process of making a successful personal-injury claim. Whatever the circumstances of the personal injury, hiring a injury lawyer is highly recommended because in that way you gain awareness about your rights and are led the right way. If you don’t have a lawyer, you will have to wait until you have recovered sufficiently before going to seek compensation. This implies that it will take you much longer to get your settlement. You should call a personal injury lawyer immediately after your accident. This way, they can file personal injury claims on your behalf while you are recuperating. A qualified personal injury lawyer has vast experience with similar cases to yours and the legalities involved with those cases, hence they can side-step all setbacks and help you get compensated as fast as possible. Putting Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers Bowling Green’s name as one of your emergency contacts will ensure that they are one of the first ones to be called when something happens to you. If they get this call early enough, they may be able to help you get treatment. The quality of treatment you receive at this point speaks to whether you will have a speedy recovery or not. If your attorney is familiar with medical malpractice and personal injury, they can also ensure that you are receiving proper care. While you are recuperating, your injury lawyer could be filing personal injury claims against whoever ran you over or is at fault for the injuries you suffered. The Medical Malpractice Lawyer | Halifax, Nova Scotia | McKiggan Hebert provide legal advice to injured person.  medical malpractice attorneys hаvе represented victims оf malpractice. Whеn a person іѕ injured durіng a medical procedure, thеу ѕhоuld speak tо аn attorney whо understands medical malpractice fоr assistance. Thеу hаvе recovered millions іn damages fоr thеіr clients. Thеу hаvе mаnу resources аnd thеу work wіth experts аll оvеr thе country. If уоu wеrе injured bесаuѕе оf medical malpractice, contact аn attorney right away. Bronx medical malpractice lawyer helps you in the medical malpractice attorney.

    Potential dangers

    “Once anhydrous ammonia makes contact with the skin, it can freeze tissue and cause a skin burn,” McGuire said. “As far as inhalation goes, it takes a very low dose of anhydrous ammonia to affect the lungs and breathing. In some cases, an unintended exposure can give you the sensation that the wind has been knocked out of you.”

    Caustic burns to the skin and severe irritation to the eyes, lungs and respiratory system are all possible, and exposure to high concentrations can cause permanent injury, he said.

    “Any time you’re working with the nurse tanks or the applicator and there is the potential for an unintentional release, you need to have on your personal protective equipment,” McGuire said. “Most people increase the risk of injury simply because they forgot or didn’t take the time to put on their personal protective equipment first.”

    McGuire advises farmers to always be aware of their surroundings when working with anhydrous ammonia.

    “Leave yourself an escape route in case there’s a release,” he said. “You want to avoid being downwind of it. The quicker you can get away from it and get to fresh air, the better.”

    As farmers start preparing for the 2016 growing season, McGuire suggests reviewing the product safety data sheet themselves and with any family members or employees who will be working with anhydrous ammonia.

    “It explains exposure controls, first aid measures, emergency procedures and specific handling practices you should be following,” he said.

    In addition, he suggests checking with local anhydrous ammonia suppliers for training opportunities.

    “Many will have customer in-services where they discuss proper handling and safety procedures,” McGuire said. “Take full advantage of that. They are well-versed in safety precautions, and you can learn a lot from your local supplier.”

    Work upwind

    McGuire recently wrote about working safely with anhydrous ammonia for Ag Safety S.T.A.T. – Safe Tactics for Ag Today, a newsletter by Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

    Among McGuire’s recommendations:

    • Always have water readily available, including a squirt bottle of water to douse the eyes with, and 5 gallons of emergency water mounted on the nurse tank.
    • Follow recommended procedures for connecting and disconnecting nurse tanks and applicators. Shortcuts can lead to unintended release or unexpected exposure.
    • When changing nurse tanks or making field repairs, always work upwind of the applicator and the nurse tank. Applicator knives, flow meters, hose connections, bleeder valves and nurse tank valves can be exposure openings for an unintended release.
    • When changing nurse tanks, park the tractor upwind before opening bleeder valves or disconnecting hoses. This can minimize the chance of anhydrous ammonia entering the cab.
    • Hand-tighten valve handles. Over-tightening with a wrench can cause damage to the valve or seals.
    • Park nurse tanks, whether full or empty, downwind and away from neighboring houses, public areas and businesses.

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