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Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) is a hazardous chemical and must be dealt with carefully. Protective measures are needed to ensure the safety of those working with NH3 and any people who live, work, or otherwise are near NH3.

NH3 Safety Practices

Personal protective equipment

  • Wear NH3-rated goggles and gloves (cuffed) and be fully clothed with long sleeved shirt and pants (no shorts)
  • Never wear contact lenses

Emergency water supply

  • Each nurse tank must contain at least a 5-gallon emergency water supply
  • During freezing weather have an extra 5-gallon emergency water supply in the tractor cab
  • An accessible personal eyewash bottle is recommended
  • Have an emergency water supply whenever performing equipment maintenance
  • Keep emergency water supplies clean and accessible at ALL times


  • NEVER assume NH3 lines are empty, including hoses connected to cold flow/heat transfer units or withdrawal hose
  • Stand upwind when connecting, disconnecting, bleeding lines, or transferring product
  • Handle valves by the body, not by the wheel or latch
  • Close, bleed, disconnect, and secure valves and transfer line when leaving equipment unattended
  • Park equipment downwind from dwellings, people, and livestock


  • Adhere to speed limits:
    30 mph towing full nurse tank
    35 mph towing up to two empty nurse tanks
  • Display a slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem visible from the rear or towing assembly
  • Use two independent safety chains of suitable rating and a hitch pin with retainer clip

Properly maintain equipment

  • Be sure to check hosing for bulges, cracks or cuts to the cords, soft spots or separation from hose coupling
  • Be sure to install and maintain coupling device assembly per the manufacturer’s specifications

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Resources