Ammonia refrigeration plants ordered to test secondary coolant systems

Technical Safety BC has issued a safety order covering all indirect system type ammonia refrigeration plants that exceed 5 kW capacity and are installed in facilities classified as public assembly occupancy, including ice rinks and curling rinks. The order requires owners of these ammonia refrigeration plants to take initial and on-going actions to detect the presence of ammonia in each secondary coolant (brine solution) system.

An indirect refrigeration system is one in which a secondary coolant (brine solution), that is cooled or heated by a refrigeration system, is circulated to the substance to be cooled, such as an arena ice surface.



The safety order was issued to prevent, avoid or reduce the risk of personal injury or damage to property as a result of an accidental leak from an ammonia refrigeration system. Accidental ammonia leaks, from any pressurized system, have the potential to cause injuries, up to and including death, to any person within the immediate vicinity and surrounding area.

Read Safety Order SO-BP-2017-01: Ammonia Refrigeration Systems in Public Occupancies.

Technical Safety BC has provided the following information to raise awareness on the dangers and prevention of ammonia exposure:

Technical Safety BC also publishes incident investigation summaries as part of its commitment to share safety information. Here are some summaries related to ammonia leaks:

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