Coors Ammonia Leak

In the news today: Part of Coors facility evacuated due to ammonia leak. This is something no ammonia refrigeration operator wants to happen on their watch. Thankfully it appears to have only affected the facility and not the neighborhood around it. An unintentional “Community Involvement Day” is to be avoided at all costs!

Thankfully the Coors employees do not appear to be seriously injured. The fact that an incident occurred doesn’t mean the good people at Coors weren’t necessarily doing things the right way; It’s just an opportunity to improve.

Incidents can happen to anyone – all we accomplish with Process Safety is minimizing the frequency and impact of those events. Nothing is perfect but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. When I was a volunteer firefighter I came up with a slogan for our crew:

“Perfection is our goal. Excellence will be tolerated.”

It’s the attitude we should all have. In my experience, there are a hell of a lot of professional refrigeration personnel out there who are always looking to improve their systems.

Update 01-07-11: Looks like OSHA got around to issuing a citation that resulted from this leak:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited MillerCoors LLC of Golden, Colo., with 10 alleged serious violations of OSHA standards following the July 2010 release in excess of 2000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at its Golden brewery. Proposed fines total $63,500.

OSHA’s investigation found that two employees working on the ammonia system narrowly escaped serious injury when an uncontrolled release occurred during maintenance operations.

About Brian Chapin

PSM / RMP Compliance Consultant
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