Recognizing Hazardous Energy And Controls

Alberta Petrochemical Manufacturing and Bulk Petroleum Dealers: Recognizing Hazardous Energy and Controls ​

AASP helps you to develop a Health and Safety Management System to ensure your organization’s compliance with current Alberta OHS Legislation and that you are doing your part to keep all employees SAFE.


  Hazardous energy and controls



Buy now: $59.00
1.5 hours
Passing grade:


Buy Course Now


This Project was the result of two separate incidents occurring, respectively, on January 15, and January 30, 2017 at CNO. The January 15 Incident is a workplace incident which resulted in a serious injury to an Agrium employee. The January 30 Incident comprised of a workplace incident and environmental incident that resulted in a serious injury to another employee, a direct service provider to the contractor, Aecom Production Services Ltd. Both incidents involved the release of ammonia. CNO utilizes railcars, specifically designed for anhydrous ammonia transportation, within their operations.​

On January 15, 2017, an employee was preparing to connect the offload hoses to the rail tanker car to offload anhydrous ammonia from the rail station.
The employee was wearing all required personal protective equipment at the time, including:

a. body protection including ammonia resistant coveralls,
b. respiratory protection, including full face purifying respirator with approved ammonia cartages, and
c. head, foot and skin protection, including helmet, appropriate work boots and approved rubber gloves.

The employee started lifting the lid on the railcar and realized that the overhead hoses were in the way of opening the lid. The employee then attempted to move the overhead hoses used to offload out of the way. It is speculated that the movement of the hoses from the proximity of the lid or the hoses bumping into each other caused one of the overhead valves to open by approximately ½ tum, thereby releasing anhydrous ammonia into the workplace. The anhydrous ammonia produced a large white vapour cloud, which obstructed the employee’s sight of the top of the railcar.

The height of the railcar was approximately 15 feet from the track, with a parallel catchment ditch adding another 2 feet to the ground. The employee made a quick decision to escape the area by climbing through the handrail surrounding the top of the rail car and then attempting to slide down the side of the railcar. The employee landed in a snow-covered ditch on the side of the railcar, fracturing both heel bones, and fracturing his vertebrae.

The employee was wearing a company radio in his coveralls and he was able to use the radio to call for help. A worker nearby heard the call, donned a full face respirator and was able to go to the top of the railcar station and turn the valve off. Site responders attended quickly to the scene, and first aid was administered on site. The employee was subsequently transported to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta and remained in the hospital for more than two days.

On January 30, 2017, in order to access the piping and maneuver the two sides of the pipe together, two workers were standing on the process lines and pulled on the piping. While attempting to align two separate sections of piping, the single point isolation valve below the pressure relief valve was jarred. With the vent locked in the open position, ammonia was released through the horizontal vent. The employee heard a noise and saw that the other employee had disappeared within a large cloud of ammonia.

The employee saw that the liquid ammonia was being released through the bleed valve. While engulfed in the ammonia cloud another employee reached over and closed the valve within several seconds even though his eyes were watering and he was struggling to breathe. The employee jumped off the piping and ran towards the crew truck, which was parked northeast of the incident area. At the time of the release, Agrium estimated the concentration of anhydrous ammonia to be 99.7 % flowing at 23.0 Lis and 2450 kPA and at a temperature of -2.3°C. The volume released was estimated at I0 Kgs over an estimated 3 second duration.

Other workers employed by the contractor noted the incident as they were exiting a work truck. The other employees ran to a nearby control room to report the incident and get assistance. The other workers remained to assist the employee, removing his clothes and boots, and helping him into the safety shower. Agrium personnel arrived while the first injured employee was in the shower. An Agrium operator verified that the vent at issue was closed and inserted a plug in the end of the open vent line and the incident scene was secured with barrier tape. An Agrium nurse assessed the two employees at the site. Wheatland Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were called and the first employee was transported to Foothills Medical Centre via ambulance. The second employee was transported to the Strathmore Hospital by other workers. The second employee was medically assessed and released from the hospital that night. The release caused a significant adverse effect as evidenced by the injuries to these two employees.


The content presented on this page was developed specifically for the Alberta Petrochemical Manufacturing and Bulk Petroleum Dealers WCB Industry Codes 37801 and 60800 respectively,

Petrochemicals Manufacturing – 37801
This industry includes the manufacture of intermediate petrochemicals by changing the molecular structure of hydrocarbon compounds (crude oil & natural gas). Also in this industry is the manufacturing of various fertilizers, nickel refining, and recovery of precious metals. As well, the manufacturing and/or bottling/packaging of industrial gases such as oxygen, acetylene, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and dry ice is included here.

Bulk Petroleum Dealers – 60800
This industry includes the purchase, storage, resale and bulk distribution of petroleum based products including fuel, synthetic (“man-made”) fertilizer, chemicals and explosives.


Energy in excess, or when used improperly, can be dangerous. Whenever you need to conduct work on a system that uses energy, like on a generator, a car lift, pneumatic washers, lasers, or chemical conductors, you’ll need to make sure that the energy the system uses and generates is isolated and controlled, so it can’t harm you. In this Recognizing Hazardous Energy and Controls online course, you’ll learn how to identify hazardous energy sources and the lockout-tagout procedures for controlling them.

Completion: A Certificate of Achievement per module will be issued upon successful completion of each course exam.
Online Course: To successfully complete the course, the learner has 3 attempts to achieve 80% or higher on the exam. Online duration subject to student capabilities.