2013-04-19 xml
Review Fertiliser Security Urges CLA

The CLA is urging farmers and landowners to review the security of their fertiliser storage arrangements following the devastating blast at the Texas Waco fertiliser plant.

It has been reported the company had 20 tonnes of anhydrous ammonia - a widely used source of nitrogen fertiliser – on site, which emergency services officials have said may have caused the explosion.

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Now, the CLA in the North is reminding its members of the highly explosive capacity of Ammonium Nitrate-based fertilisers, which in the wrong hands can cause extensive damage to buildings and life within a 50 metre radius.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Even in the rights hands, Ammonium Nitrate can still cause considerable harm if exposed to extreme heat or friction.

“No other highly-explosive substance is so readily available nationwide, which is why it is vital that anyone who handles or stores fertiliser must ensure its security to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.”

The CLA is advising farmers and growers to follow the National Counter Terrorist Security Office-approved ten point plan to protect their fertiliser, which states:

• Do not store fertiliser where there is public access

• Do not leave bags of fertiliser in the field overnight

• Do not store fertiliser near to, or visible from, the public highway

• Do not sell fertiliser unless the purchaser is personally known by you to be a bona-fide farmer user and is aware of the need to follow this guidance. (Be aware of the requirement to provide a copy of the detonation resistance certificate if you sell or supply relevant ammonium nitrate based fertiliser.)

• Do record fertiliser deliveries and usage

• Do, wherever possible, and with regard to HSE safety guidance, store fertiliser inside a locked building or compound

• Do fully sheet fertiliser when stored outside and regularly check to ensure that the stack has not been tampered with

• Do carry out regular, frequent stock checks

• Do report immediately any unexplained stock discrepancy or loss/theft to the police

• Do record any manufacturers code numbers from the bags and if available, the number of the detonation resistance test certificate. (NB: Detonation resistance test certificates do not apply in Northern Ireland).


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