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Why windsocks are an increasingly important part of the commercial cold refridgeration industry.

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

We are used to seeing windsocks at airports, Helipads, and other aviation locations. However, they are also used in many other industrial applications. One of the common areas where windsocks are also used is at commercial refrigeration sites. Windsocks are an essential health and safety tool within the commercial refrigeration industry to provide early warning of wind direction in an emergency procedure. They are positioned at key points across refrigeration and cold storage sites and are used as a visual aid for the evacuation plan team.

Hazardous substances use on site

When there is a hazardous gas leak which is found at commercial refrigeration sites a plan is required to help with the evacuation. Being able to identify the wind direction is vital. Anhydrous ammonia N3H is a commonly used refrigerant and is utilized in cold storage facilities to maintain low temperatures. As long as employees of the site do not inhale the gas there is no risk to health. However, in the event of an accident or leakage of the gas, if it is inhaled it can cause several symptoms and become a health hazard.

Symptoms can include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, breathing difficulties, burns, and rapid dehydration.

Anyone who is exposed to the gas should immediately seek medical treatment as long-term exposure could be dangerous. The hazard increases in high winds as the gas may be blown across the site and surrounding areas. To help avoid these types of hazardous leaks anhydrous ammonia is maintained under high-pressure storage.

Evacuation plan requirements

As this sensitive chemical is used at all refrigeration and cold storage sites, they all require an extensive evacuation plan. The plan includes the emergency response procedure to help avoid possible life-threatening consequences if there is an accident or leak. A crucial element of the plan is an industry-standard windsock. The windsock is installed in a visible location to indicate wind direction in the event of a leakage of anhydrous ammonia. This enables workers to move to a safe location away from the hazard and avoid contact with the leaked gas.

What Windsocks are needed?

We supply quality windsocks (plain and illuminated), masts, and all the components required for installation to the chemical, offshore oil, refrigeration industry, aviation, and many other industries.

Usually, our standard 4ft orange windsocks are positioned at various locations on-site to provide reassurance and protection for employees. They are now regarded as a vital part of the Health & Safety plan.

If you do not have any Windsocks on your site currently, please call to discuss how many you may need. We can help with advice on the models available and advise on suitable locations for you to ensure your emergency planning plans are fully maximized.

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