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Ammonia spill in rink compressor room
Request date: May 9, 2006

A staff person came to change the filters on the rink house roof. He had no key to the compressor room where the filters are stored. Mayssan got the back-up key from the lock-up, but when they opened the compressor room door, they smelled ammonia, so strongly that it made their eyes burn. Although the ammonia alarm was not flashing, for safety reasons the worker did not enter the room and Mayssan called Tino. She was told to call the technical services supervisor, who said it was not an ammonia leak but just a spill after regular servicing. He suggested that the filters be changed a day later, when the smell would have got weaker.

Mayssan called Tino later to ask why they were not warned there was a spill.

Tino said there should be no compressor room key on site.

Comments from Jutta, May 9 2006:

1. The reason why a key is kept at the park, locked away (i.e. not on the key ring) is as a backup only. The history of having a key there is that City workers often came with no key (to change the filters, to check the fire extinguishers, to do something electrical) and so the rink staff keep one on site for those occasions.

2. When there's an ammonia spill, the main thing is that there ought to be communication -- so that nobody gets a surprise when they open the door. It's impressive that the spill was big enough to make the filter guy's eyes burn a day later -- that's fairly major. (And yet nobody smelled it outside and there was no alarm -- odd).

Response from Tino, May 10, 2006:

Mayssan, please secure the key for this room. I will need to return it to the approriate staff as soon as possible. Advise all staff and volunteers that this space is out of bounds.

Response from Technical Services, May 10, 2006:

A Technical Services worker came to the rink . He said he was sorry the smell had worried people, that he works around ammonia so much he hardly notices when there's been a spill. But he said he thoroughly cleaned out the rest of the smell, and the compressor room is fine now.

Action from Tino (supervisor), May 15, 2006

The supervisor came to pick up the compressor room key from rec staff. He said that whenever a maintenance, technical or trades staff comes to do work in the compressor room without bringing a key, rec staff should send them away and notify the supervisor, who will follow up.

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Content last modified on January 05, 2008, at 12:03 PM EST