6 Safety Reminders When Working With Ammonia
Anhydrous ammonia is being applied around the state, and farmers and others working around and with ammonia should keep safety practices in mind. Thanks to the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, here are some safety reminders.
- Slow down! Nurse tanks should not travel more than 25 mph down the road.
- Always turn nurse tank valves off at the tank source and disconnect hoses before pulling onto a public roadway as required by law. Never have a "charged" system when sharing the road with other drivers.
- Don’t operate nurse tanks in low light conditions or before or after sunset unless you have a rotating, flashing amber light on the tank or tanks. Many drivers aren’t familiar with farm equipment or the speeds they travel. It is always best if slow moving vehicles are kept off the roads during nondaylight hours.
- Never forget the safety chains - even in the field of application. Nurse tank trailers are put to the test during the ammonia season, serving as highway vehicles and being pulled through rough fields. Safety chains can prevent a catastrophe if the hitch fails. Hook the safety chains every time.
- Check breakaway devices on the toolbars. Another safety mechanism to prevent releases, breakaway devices must be installed and maintained correctly so they function.
- Never hesitate to call 911 if you have an ammonia release. Tell the emergency operator exactly what happened so first responders are prepared to deal with ammonia. Whoever is in charge of the tank at the time of the release must call immediately.