Q&A | Safe Access to Equipment
Question: Do I have to provide safe access to all of my ammonia refrigeration equipment?
According to current codes and standards, the answer is a resounding YES! The 2013 California Mechanical Code states the following under General Requirements:
And for the non-Californian readers of this blog, these other codes and standards define similar requirements:
8.3 Safe Access. A clear and unobstructed approach and space shall be provided for inspection, service, and emergency shutdown of condensing units, compressor units, condensers, stop valves, and other serviceable components of refrigerating machinery. Permanent ladders, platforms, or portable access equipment shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of the AHJ.
126.96.36.199 A clear and unobstructed approach and space shall be provided to refrigerating machinery for inspection, service, and emergency shutdown with adequate clearances for maintenance of equipment. There shall be clear headroom of not less than 7.25 ft [2.21 m] below equipment situated over passageways.
188.8.131.52 All manually operated valves inaccessible from floor level shall be operable from portable platforms, fixed platforms, ladders, or shall be chain-operated. Isolation valve(s) identified as being part of an emergency shutdown procedure shall be directly operable or chain-operated from a permanent work surface.