The petroleum industry is often associated with physically strong men that with a lot of sweat, hard work and advanced technology, can explore and extract the precious resources that lie beneath the earth’s surface, while facing the hazards present in this industry. But just like many substances and diseases, a lot of times the unseen hazards, are the deadliest.
Within the crude oil and natural gas, a toxic and deadly threat awaits petroleum workers. Rotten egg gas, sour gas, stink damp, hepatic gas, hydrogen sulfide, or just H2S, is an invisible gas to the naked eye that is colorless, heavier than air, flammable, explosive, corrosive, possesses a trademark odor of rotten eggs and, most importantly, is deadly. H2S is often found in gas wells, oil well pumping stations, pipelines, crude oil storage tanks, oil refineries, natural gas plants, sulfur extraction plants and service rigs.
H2S is a common oil field chemical problem that has caused many accidents and deaths over the years. One of such cases was an H2S leak accident that occurred on February 2, 1975 in Denver, a small town on the Texas–New Mexico border, that left nine innocent people dead.
However, the petroleum industry is not the only industry that this menacing gas poses a risk to. This dangerous substance can be found in a wide variety of industries and products. Hydrogen sulfide is used for the production of heavy water, metallurgical processes, and can be formed naturally in any area that experiences the decay of organic matter; this means that H2S can be found in septic tanks, sewers and even in different types of foods, albeit not necessarily in the lethal doses present in other environments.
H2S is extremely toxic to the human body and has different long-term and short-term symptoms, depending on the amount of gas inhaled and its concentration. The long-term health effects of hydrogen sulfide are mostly unknown and further research still needs to be undertaken, on the other hand, H2S short-term exposure can cause symptoms ranging from nausea, headaches, conjunctivitis, irritation of the respiratory system, pulmonary edema, sudden collapse, memory loss, respiratory paralysis, and death.
Despite the risks that comes from working in an H2S environment, the most effective way for workers to avoid the dangers of H2S is to undergo a continual educational process with an H2S Alive training in Edmonton. With the proper knowledge of the characteristics of H2S, preventive measures, and the correct training on how to use specialized equipment for H2S-filled spaces, the threats posed by this deadly gas can be almost completely eradicated.
iSafety offers H2S Alive training in Edmonton and Fort McMurray that can be delivered in a training facility or on-site. The course will teach you how to work safely around H2S, its properties and characteristics, detailed effects of exposure, air monitoring requirements, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, first aid, and rescue procedures. Contact us to ensure your location meets the requirements to successfully complete the training.