Safety Guidelines for Workplace Gas Detection
Gas emissions at drilling areas and sewage treatment plants can be deadly. Don't wait to experience such a disaster and then learn about it! Preparedness is the key to survival. The challenge while preparing for gas leaks is that they are quite unpredictable and can't be seen. Now you don't have to worry about gas detection and emergencies as you can use the 24-hour on-site services of Priority Safety Services & Rentals Ltd. We identify and control all risks associated with H2S safety.
Deadly Emissions at Workplaces
Harmful gas leaks can happen at work that involves drilling crude oil and natural gas or treatment of wastewater and sewers. H2S, hydrocarbon gases, mercury, and diesel exhaust are among the deadly emissions that occur at such worksites. Most of these are inflammable, cause cancer, and can be fatal in high concentrations.
What is H2S?
In oilfields and sewers, emission of H2S is quite common. It forms during the decay of organic material in the absence of oxygen. Heavier than air and tending to accumulate in blocked spaces, it leaks when a sewage pipe is damaged or during drilling activities. Workers, contractors, residents and even cattle living near oil and gas fields are all at risk of exposure.
H2S is also known as "sour gas" with a distinct odor of rotten eggs. It deadens the sense of smell over continued exposure and in high concentrations. Additionally, due to its inflammable nature, explosive substances are not to be kept in close proximity to it. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) lists the potential harm of H2S in workplaces.
Steps to Take In an H2S Emergency
Priority Safety Services & Rentals Ltd provides monitoring systems for continuous gas detection. Though this is also possible by identifying H2S’ distinct odor, it is not the most reliable way. In the event of a leak, your safety is the first thing you should care about and take the following precautions:
- Put on Your Gear
Put on your gas mask and breathe. Keep it on while you exit the area. Remember to help others who are struggling to move or breathe. Don't panic if you don't have the mask, proceed to the next step. You can contact us for fully equipped air trailers or SCBAand SABA units.
- Move against the Wind Flow
Generally, at potential gas leak sites, flags and windsocks are kept to identify the flow of wind. You can also toss some dirt in the air or look at the trees. Find out the direction of wind flow and head in the opposite direction immediately. The wind forces H2S to accumulate in low-lying areas like valleys or around trees.
- Count Heads
Gather everyone together and do the final headcount. Find out if someone is missing and inform the responsible authorities. Do not go back to search if you don't have the proper training and equipment.
- Make the Calls
You should call the civic authorities to make emergency evacuations. Gas leaks will be harmful to the local residents staying nearby too. Also, call and inform your employers about gas detection.
Symptoms of H2S Exposure
H2S is toxic and can have both short-term and long-term health effects. Some symptoms of H2S exposure are:
- Irritation to the eyes and nose
- Loss of consciousness
If you experience any such symptom, you should immediately contact the doctor or authorities who can help you with first aid.
First Aid Measures to Take If You Inhale H2S
It is very important to act in case of a gas leak to prevent harm or worse. Anyone planning to administer first aid should be familiar with the process. Trained personnel or doctors are the best people to take care of victims in such situations. It is best to have onsite medics or use 24-hour on-site service of an authorized agency or company.
- Inhalation - If someone has inhaled H2S, care should be taken to administer emergency oxygen. Ask for the help of personnel trained in artificial respiration and other emergency medical procedures. The victim should also not be moved a lot.
- Skin contact - Liquefied H2S might come in contact with the skin. In such cases, the affected area should be immersed in lukewarm water. Before that, a victim should be carefully removed from the site of contamination. Do not rub the area or apply direct heat. Clothing and jewelry sticking to the skin should be cautiously removed.
- Eye contact - If H2S comes in contact with the eyes, softly flush your eyes with gently flowing lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes.
In all such cases, victims will need immediate treatment from a doctor. The contaminated area should be covered with a sterile dressing. H2S can be released through clothing, skin and exhaled air and further contamination is possible with mouth guards and shields.
H2S safety is very important at workplaces. Be prepared with our 24-hour on-site service, self-breathing apparatuses, monitoring systems for immediate gas detection. Protect yourself and your workplace from H2S hazards and be prepared with professional onsite medics. Contact Priority Safety Services & Rentals Ltd today and eliminate future emergencies.