Most Industry Safety Experts Unaware of Hydrogen Sulfide Standards

The results of a new study by Dräger and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) reveal that that more than half of safety experts in the oil and gas industry are unaware of new hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exposure limits set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).

Hydrogen Sulfide, an odorless, colorless gas, is the leading cause of death among gas inhalation-related fatalities in the workplace. The guidelines recommended by the ACGIH include:

  • Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 1 ppm
  • Time Weighted Average (TWA): 1.4 mg/m3
  • Short Term Exposure Level (STEL): 5 ppm, 7.0mg/m3

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Other results of the survey included:

  • Seventy-six percent of the safety experts who were aware of the new standards felt – despite the increased safety results from using them – no urgency to adopt them.
  • There is a great variation of alarm levels used by companies: 39 perenct use 10 ppm and 15 ppm; 35 percent use 5 ppm and 10 ppm; and 15 percent use 10 ppm and 20 ppm.
  • Of the companies surveyed who haven’t adopted the guidelines, only 24 percent have adjusted their H2S limits within the last three years and only 34 percent anticipate adjusting their current H2S limits in the near future.
  • Most of those survey believe 1 ppm is important very few think of those surveyed believe that current instruments can obtain accurate readings. The majority felt that the 1ppm resolution will cause an increase in false readings.

Emergency Film Group’s Hydrogen Sulfide safety training video teaches workers and responders how to protect themselves against the hazards of this toxic gas. More information about this program can be found here. . .

 

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One Response to Most Industry Safety Experts Unaware of Hydrogen Sulfide Standards

  1. According to the current edition of the NIOSH Guide to Chemical Hazards, the physical description of hydrogen sulfide is “Colorless gas with a strong odor of rotten eggs. Note: Sense of smell becomes rapidly fatigued and can NOT be relied upon to warn of the continuous presence of H2S.”

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