Hydrogen Sulfide – H2S Safety Training in Vaughan Ontario

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Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It often results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers; this process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and some well waters. The human body produces small amounts of H2S and uses it as a signaling molecule.

Hydrogen sulfide (British English: hydrogen sulphide) is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It often results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers; this process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and some well waters. The human body produces small amounts of H2S and uses it as a signaling molecule.

Hydrogen sulfide has a very low odor threshold, with its smell being easily perceptible at concentrations well below 1 part per million (ppm) in air. The odor increases as the gas becomes more concentrated, with the strong rotten egg smell recognisable up to 30 ppm. Above this level, the gas is reported to have a sickeningly sweet odor up to around 100 ppm. However, at concentrations above 100 ppm, a person’s ability to detect the gas is affected by rapid temporary paralysis of the olfactory nerves in the nose, leading to a loss of the sense of smell. This means that the gas can be present at dangerously high concentrations, with no perceivable odor. Prolonged exposure to lower concentrations can also result in similar effects of olfactory fatigue. This unusual property of hydrogen sulfide makes it extremely dangerous to rely totally on the sense of smell to warn of the presence of the gas.
Wherever possible, exposure should be minimised by employing adequate engineering controls and safe working practices. Such methods include ensuring good ventilation and changing work procedures and practices. Where engineering controls cannot adequately control levels of exposure, it may be necessary to supplement them with the use of suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) such as supplied-air respirators. A qualified industrial hygienist or safety professional should be consulted for guidance on the suitability and correct use of respirators.

Should a co-worker ever be overcome by H2S gas, do not attempt a rescue until you are properly protected yourself. The rescuer can very easily get caught out by venturing into a confined space without adequate protection. Remember that at levels above 200 ppm, collapse, coma and death due to respiratory failure can occur within seconds after only a few inhalations so you can be overcome yourself very quickly. Such incidents are sadly all too common and only serve to make the rescue effort twice as difficult.

Hydrogen Sulphide training  includes a Student Manual, and training
aids consisting of a training presentation, H2S testing and monitoring equipment,
and self-contained breathing apparatus, rescue breathing simulation mannequin, and
a variety of Personal Protective Equipment examples. The H2S course provides
information on the properties of Hydrogen Sulphide, initial response strategy requirements,
respiratory protective equipment, Hydrogen Sulphide detection equipment,
rescue techniques and rescue breathing, case study scenarios, legislated requirements, and any
additional information the instructor feels pertinent to working in possible Hydrogen Sulphide
environments.  Contact us

 

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