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Top 5 Things To Know About Hydrogen Sulfide In An Emergency

01/04/2021

You're probably familiar with the rotten egg smell you may encounter every once in a while. That smell often indicates the presence of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas, although often at low concentration.

 

Large amount of hydrogen sulfide in the air can become extremely toxic and sometimes lethal. And the most alarming part is that since the gas colourless, you won’t be able to see it.

As an employer, it is crucial to make sure your workspace is a safe space to work, and if there happens to be an emergency, you need to be prepared.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hydrogen sulfide in case of an emergency.

 

Impact On Safety

At low concentration or low levels of exposure, hydrogen sulfide will not hurt you. However, if there is exposure to high levels of gas, you need to seek immediate medical help.

With medium levels of concentration, you may experience dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. With high levels, you can experience shock, convulsions, the inability to breathe, and in some cases, death.

 

Whether a medic treats mild skin irritation or more deadly inhalation, the sooner you are treated, the better.

 

How to Prevent Hydrogen Sulfide Emergencies

Preventing a hydrogen sulfide emergency is very important in the workplace. Follow the tips below to ensure you avoid emergencies.

 

1. Check Your Industrial System Controls

To prevent a safety emergency, you need to have industrial controls in place. You need a sound ventilation system for the gas to exit.

In addition, be sure to train your employees on gas safety and how to enter and exit the workplace.

 

2. Prevent a Fire

Hydrogen sulfide is a flammable gas that can easily ignite with a simple spark or too much heat.

In case of fire from hydrogen sulfide, you should shut off the source of the issue as soon as possible. Once the accident site is isolated, call 911. 

 

3. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment can improve workplace safety in many hazardous situations, including a hydrogen sulfide emergency.

Most common PPE includes full-face, positive pressure SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) or SABA (Supplied Air Breathing Apparatus) to prevent breathing and inhalation of H2S.

 

If you suspect that you may encounter hydrogen sulfide in your workplace, you should wear clothing or equipment that is not permeable and cannot be degraded by the substance.

Following these precautions can protect your overall health when exposed to harsh chemicals and toxic gas.

 

4. Protect Your Skin

If you have skin exposure to hydrogen sulfide, you need to wash the area immediately. The clothes that have also been exposed need to be washed thoroughly to avoid further exposure.

Even if you feel that you have resolved the issue, you should still seek medical attention.

 

5. Know If You Are at Risk of Exposure

Generally, most people are not at risk of hydrogen sulfide exposure on a regular basis. However, depending on the type of work you are involved in, you may be at more of a risk.

 

If you are a sanitation worker, farm worker, or work at an oil or gas drilling site, you are at a higher risk of exposure.

As an employer, it is crucial to make sure the workspace is safe. If you have workers in an at-risk site, be sure to double-check that you have all safety services in place. 

 

Always Call in Case of Emergency

To make sure you are safe, it's a good idea to call professionals to take precautions. If you notice an emergency, it is also crucial to call a professional!

Contact us to make sure your industrial workspace is safe moving forward. Here at Priority Safety Services and Rentals, we are committed to providing you with quality service for H2S detection equipment that can improve the safety of your Grande Prairie workplace.