H2S Hazards in San Antonio, Texas
Okay lets talk about H2S hazards in or around San Antonio, Texas. Sometimes we hear the word H2S and we say, “What is H2S?”. Well lets talk about what is H2S. So in the next few paragraphs we will talk about H2S and its hazards and why did we mention?, San Antonio, Texas.
What Is H2S
H2S also know as hydrogen sulfide is a toxic gas which has a chemical composition of two hydrogen atoms and 1 sulfur atom. We will tell you later why that is important. Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic gas formed when bacteria deprived of oxygen starts a decaying process which putrefies organic material in many areas like swamps, bogs, oil & gas formations under the ground, sewer treatment facilities and even in mines.
What Hazards Does H2S Present
H2S as we now know is a toxic gas. In the oil & gas industry we find it in many areas in processes that we will discuss in a future blog post. Oil & gas workers in San Antonio, Texas around the Eagle Ford Shale area and even in the Permian Basin for example can be exposed on a daily basis when out on location. Lets look at hazard #1. H2S is clear. When present this gas cannot be seen and if you cant see it how can you be aware of it?. Hazard #2. H2S can make you lose your sense of smell. Experts say that you can temporarily loose your sense of smell when H2S overcomes your olfactory senses, which is part of your central nervous system.
Now that you know about how H2S affects your olfactory nerves; we can now talk about Hazard #3. For hazard #3., we would like to mention that H2S can kill a worker when exposed at 500 ppm or more in minutes. Some in the industry call H2S, “The Kiss of Death”, since it can kill someone in one breath at 1000 ppm or more. PPM is just a measurement for gasses in short. There is many more hazards that H2S can present. So how do we stay safe?
H2S Exposure Limits
OSHA which is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, is the enforcer of federal government safety standards in many industries including; oil & gas, which is part of the general industry, the construction industry and many others. OSHA has a set rules for H2S. The following is an excerpt from OSHA’s website.
Hydrogen sulfide exposure is covered under the following OSHA standards:
Worker Exposure Limits (Enforceable)
- General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 TABLE Z-2, Toxic and hazardous substancesExposures must not exceed 20 parts per million (ppm) (ceiling) with the following exception: if no other measurable exposure occurs during the 8-hour work shift, exposures may exceed 20 ppm, but not more than 50 ppm (peak), for a single time period up to 10 minutes.
- Construction: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A, Gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, and mistsSets exposure limit of 10 ppm (15 mg/m3) time-weighted average (TWA) – OSHA is know to enforce this in the oilfield as well.
- Shipyard: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z, Air contaminantsSets exposure limit of 10 ppm (15 mg/m3) TWASource: OSHA.gov
Who Is The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®)
The ACGIH® for short is a private organization of experts and industrial hygienists that set the bar for industrial hygiene in any organization in the world and for many related hazards, air contaminants and more.
The most widely recognized exposure limit for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) was an 8-hour TWA of 10 ppm, and a 15-minute STEL of 15 ppm. As of February 2010, the ACGIH® adopted a new threshold limit value (TLV®) and recommends for H2S, a 8-hour TWA of 1.0 ppm, and a STEL of 5.0 ppm.
Only time will tell if OSHA will adopt 1 ppm instead of the 10 ppm which is enforced in the oilfield.
H2S Training Requirements
Now as for H2S training, its an annual training requirement and this requirement is set by ANSI or the American National Standards Institute. Yes OSHA is the enforcer, but ANSI is a global body of experts which lead the way in creating consensus standards that create a better and safer workplace. So what does this mean? All oil & gas leaders and companies follow ANSI rules as a recommended practice and incorporate it into their policies. ANSI & OSHA require annual H2S training. ANSI released ANSI Z390.1-2017, which is the latest update to H2S Training Programs.
Employers wanting to meet this standard will train their employees through a certified course of 3-4 hours per the ANSI Z390.1-2017 standard. Q Safety teaches this course in San Antonio, Texas and onsite at many locations across Texas.
H2S Hazards In San Antonio, TX
Okay finally. Why did we name this post like we did? Well San Antonio, TX including surrounding areas in the Eagle Ford Shale like Pleasanton, Floresville, Pearsall and other small towns are experiencing a boom in Oil & Gas operations. Many workers in the oil and gas industry are from San Antonio and surrounding areas. Our mission at Q Safety Consultants is to train, inform, prepare and equip workers in the oilfield. Our primary concern in the oilfield besides other hazards in H2S.
For more information on the Eagle Ford Shale click here.
Join Q Safety Consultants every week in San Antonio for the best hands-on oilfield safety training, including H2S 4 hour training.