The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the safe use of refrigeration systems, such as those that use ammonia. Despite its Process Safety Management (PSM) program, which has been in place for over 20 years, safety incidents involving high-charge ammonia refrigeration systems still exist. While resources to address facility safety have expanded, a tension has developed between the culture of past practice, with growing economic pressure on one hand and the PSM priorities on the other. To comply with PSM appropriately, the industry needs to change the basic design of facilities and systems and retrain its workforce.
The Need for Efficiency
Logistics and processing are vital to achieve efficiency in food distribution. One of the most defining revolutions in American industry has been the shift to just-in-time delivery systems, and “just-in-time” is now reshaping the world of food. Grocery chains are re-crafting their warehouse strategy, reducing inventories, streamlining transport processes, and cutting costs.
Simultaneously, there has also been greater emphasis on near-the-field processing, chilling, and freezing, which have further mandated changes in food transport, refrigeration, and energy.