Ammonia Hazards

Safety bulletin outlining the hazards associated with ammonia. 


Safety Alert



Ref No 




Eye Injury from Splash of Ammonia Solution



Distribution: Workplace notice boards



An Engineer recently received a splash of ammonia/water solution to his eyes, which left him needing immediate first aid, hospital treatment, 3 weeks recuperation away from work and ongoing medical treatment.


The accident occurred during an operation to drain ammonia from a system via a temporary purging line into a container of water. During the initial stages of purging the engineer was wearing a full-face ammonia respirator. However, the container needed to be moved to facilitate a better view of the purging process. Therefore, purging was stopped, gas mask removed and the container of ammonia/water solution with purging line still attached was moved. At which point the solution splashed up into his now unprotected eyes.


The cause of the splash is unclear;

•    the purging line could have moved about within the container causing the splash,
•    there could have been ammonia laying in the purging line and once disturbed, discharged itself into the container causing the splash,
•    the valve at the other end of the purging line could have been passing or
•    Simply moving the container caused the solution to splash.


Clearly this accident serves to reinforce the fact that handling chemicals and gases can be hazardous unless done properly.


REMEMBER in your own interest when handling ammonia and ammonia solution:•    Be careful

•    Do not move containers or pressurised cylinders whilst any lines are still attached  
•    Wear goggles
•    Wear impervious gloves
•    Wear overalls
•    Ensure that eyewash or a supply of water is available nearby
•    Have your full face ammonia mask at the ready
•    Be accompanied when opening up a system
•    Be familiar with any risk assessments or method statements
•    You must be trained in handling ammonia or being closely supervised by a competent engineer
•    Follow your training




Last modified: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 12:47 PM