Star Technical Solutions to present at FSDF Ammonia Summit

David Blackhurst
Director of Star Technical Services

The event coincides with the publication of the HSE PM81 and DSEAR guidance documents, two key developments for the refrigeration industry and ammonia end-users.

In a move that signifies its status as a leading specialist in refrigeration related ammonia hazard assessments in the UK, Star Technical Solutions has been invited to present at the upcoming Food Storage and Distribution Federation’s Ammonia Summit.

The Refrigeration Consultancy helps businesses ensure compliance with legislation and good practice guidance. During the Ammonia Summit, the Star presentation will focus primarily on Ammonia Hazard Assessments and why ammonia legislation compliance is now more important than ever.

Senior Consultant of Star Technical Solutions, Dr Dermot Cotter, will be on hand to discuss “The Key Issues Identified in Ammonia Hazard Assessments”, covering the following topics:

  • Most common cause of ammonia release
  • Purpose and basis of Ammonia Hazard Assessments (AHA)
  • Knowledge & experience required for carrying out an AHA
  • STS experience of compliance
  • Common non compliance and key hazards identified

The Chairman of the Institute of Refrigeration Technical Committee and Star’s Group Engineering Director, Dr Andy Pearson, will also argue ammonia’s case in a presentation titled “Why is ammonia such a good refrigerant?”

Dr Cotter explains, “Under the legislation, it is necessary to prepare specific risk assessments for all plants using ammonia refrigeration systems due to its potential flammability and toxicity – both requiring close assessment and management.”

Dr Cotter continues, “With responsibilities to ensure that the requirements of legislation are implemented properly falling directly to the employer, the end-user and the owner of the facility, the new PM81 and DSEAR guidance documents are expected to set stringent guidelines for compliance with European standards and directives, and UK legislation regarding toxicity and flammability of ammonia refrigeration systems. They are also expected to outline key responsibilities placed on employers, end users and facility owners.”

For the past three years, the Technical and Safety Committee (TASC) of the Food Storage and Distribution Federation, the HSE and the HSL, have been developing the new guidance for the safe management of ammonia refrigeration systems.

This means big changes for businesses incorporating temperature-controlled cooling, as well as the insurance companies that cover their operations.

The new to be released PM81 guide will replace the earlier version, which was published in 1995 and withdrawn from use in 2005. The new to be released DSEAR guideline document is set to highlight the latest best practice in regard to the flammability of refrigeration systems using ammonia.

The Star Technical Solutions team will be joined by other leading technical experts, including Dr Robert Lamb of Star Refrigeration, who will take to the stage to present “Ammonia Chillers and Low Charge Refrigeration Systems” and Niels P Vestergaard of Danfoss A/S, who will examine the “Trend in technologies supporting safe and successful use of ammonia systems in industrial applications.”

This makes the summit a must attend event for any temperature controlled food chain business that supplies, utilises or maintains ammonia equipment.

The STS presentations have been developed to show where common non compliances to legislation have been identified and with the new to be released PM81 and DSEAR guidelines will help businesses to comply with current legislation.

David Blackhurst, Director of Star Technical Solutions, says, “Ammonia is a highly efficient, zero carbon natural refrigerant that has been used in a variety of applications for over 150 years. The new HSE guidelines will be a fantastic step forward for the ammonia cause, and we’re certain that our input will help FSDF Ammonia Summit attendees gain a thorough understanding of how to comply with current legislation.”

For registration to attend the summit, visit

Star Technical Solutions to present at FSDF Ammonia Summit

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