The lungs are another target anhydrous will seek and damage in an accidental release. Much like the eyes, the lungs are very moist; fertilizer will attach to them and burn the respiratory system very quickly, he said.
Neenan said people exposed to anhydrous need to immediately flush the affected area with large quantities of water. Those who work with anhydrous should carry with them at least a 6- to 8-ounce squeeze bottle with fresh water at all times, he said. This small amount of water will only last long enough to get to larger quantities of water.
HOW TO DRESS TO REDUCE INJURIES
Well-maintained PPE reduces the chances of injuries from working with anhydrous, Neenan said. This equipment should include unvented goggles or full-face shield, rubber gloves, respirator, heavy-duty long-sleeved shirt, long pants and non-porous aprons and sleeves.
Unvented goggles must be used to keep anhydrous away from the eyes, as vented goggles will allow the product direct access, he noted. Glasses should be worn under the goggles and, again, contacts should not be worn.
Gloves could be rubber or non-rubber material impervious to anhydrous and should be chemical resistant, Neenan said. These should have long cuffs to be able to fold back and prevent drips into your arms.
Gloves should fit loosely enough to put on and take off but be snug enough for good protection. Wash gloves after use and replace any cracked gloves.
“I always cut the fingers off the old gloves to prevent someone from taking them and using them again,” Neenan said.
OTHER PPE FOR PROTECTION
Respirators with anhydrous cartridges can prevent lung damage only for low-level exposure, under 300 ppm. This equipment should be well-maintained and cleaned regularly.
Respirators should be fit-tested annually, he said. Facial hair does not allow a tight fit; people working around anhydrous and using PPE need to be clean-shaven.
Neenan said women who work with anhydrous have issues locating PPE that will fit them properly. Since women have a different body structure than men, equipment such as respirators does not fit safely.
Employers’ limited knowledge of PPE design for women is often a big reason for this issue, he said.
KNOW AA EQUIPMENT
Neenan said those who work with anhydrous ammonia should fully understand the equipment used to transport and apply the fertilizer.
He suggested people do a pre-transport safety check by walking around the nurse tank. Make sure tires are good, lug nuts are tight and the safety clip in the hitch pin is present. The safety chains should also be crossed and secure.
Nurse tanks must only be hauled two at a time, and the length cannot exceed 75 feet, he said. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour, and with increased weight, there should be increased stopping distance.
People should also closely examine the anhydrous applicator. Worn components such as hoses, valves and fittings should be immediately replaced.
Knives should be closely looked at to see their condition. Also, check if they are plugged.
The regulator of the applicator should be secure and mounted on the implement level. The hydraulics of the applicator should also be in good working order, he said.
DTN writers have written several articles and blogs on anhydrous ammonia safety over the last two years.
These include: https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
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