Shuswap Recreation Society general manager Dale Berger appeared before council on Oct. 23 to provide detailed procedures on how ammonia is used to cool the ice at the Shaw Centre. -Image credit: Barb Brouwer

Shaw Centre’s systems guard against ammonia leaks

State-of-the-art equipment and trained staff handle the potentially deadly substance

Following the recent fatalities at the arena in Fernie, Salmon Arm council was eager to reassure residents about ammonia use at the Shaw Centre.

General manager of the Shuswap Recreation Society Dale Berger appeared before council Monday afternoon to provide detailed procedures on how the ammonia is used to cool the ice at the Shaw Centre.

Pointing out ammonia refrigeration systems are heavily regulated due to the highly dangerous qualities of the material, Berger noted the Shaw Centre has a state-of-the-art refrigeration plant in terms of the safety equipment and procedures for its use.

He outlined some of the Shaw Centre’s safety measures as follows:

• The plant has a designated chief engineer, who is legally responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of the plant;

• All employees associated with the operation of the plant are fully certified operators;

• As well as Shaw Centre staff and the chief engineer, a dedicated refrigeration mechanical contractor is connected to the plant for all alarms.

The system is designed to detect the presence of ammonia, has alarms and is equipped with an automatic ventilation system operated by motion sensors. As well, manual emergency shut down and ventilation buttons are located outside of the room, along with alarms that can be seen and heard.

“The plant has been audited by Technical Safety BC within the last two years and it is currently in full compliance with any and all recommendations implemented as a result of that audit,” Berger said, all staff receive extensive training. “Our participation in the city’s Joint Health and Safety Committee is a further commitment to the overall safety of our employees and the general public.”

Further, Berger said all safety devices are tagged electronically, providing information on date of last service and next due date and all critical components have required replacement schedules.

“Certain aspects of the plant are monitored every four hours and a digital system tracks all of the maintenance,” he said. “There are many parts of refrigeration that have a shelf life and at five years, they are automatically replaced, whether it’s needed or not.”

Coun. Kevin Flynn said that while council is aware of the safety measures that are in place, it’s important to reassure residents.

“It’s not just a state-of-the art system, but a safety system as well,” he said. “When something tragic happens, they need to know staff are doing their best for residents without putting themselves in danger.”

Coun. Ken Jamieson asked if other chemicals are available or if there are plans to move to other refrigeration chemicals, but was assured by Berger ammonia is the most efficient and low-cost method for large refrigeration plants.

Berger added that moving to another system would be costly and a lot of money is being spent to make sure the current system is safe.


@SalmonArm
barbbrouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Kelowna RCMP look to reunite stamp collection with owner

The stamp collection was handed to RCMP in Oct.

Kelowna RCMP search for speed-slowing cut out

The cut out of Const. Warren Ning has been allegedly taken from A.S. Matheson Elementary School

Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

Former Kelowna city manager downplays possible Costco move

Ron Mattiussi says if store leaves for Westside, another big box retailer will likely take the site

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, expenses

Speaker Darryl Plecas’ report details ‘flagrant overspending’

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Man admits responsibility for 2016 death of Shuswap motorcyclist

Brian Watson, 60, died after being struck while riding his motorcycle on Squilax-Anglemont Road

Kamloops video rental store robbed for second time in 8 days

Movie Mart was robbed on Jan. 11 and held up again on Saturday afternoon under very similar circumstances

Most Read