3 Reasons To Monitor for Hydrogen Sulfide in the Workplace

3 Reasons To Monitor for Hydrogen Sulfide in the Workplace

Posted by William Kimmell on 15th Mar 2023

Gas monitoring at work is vital for keeping employees and property safe. Many of the gases commonly used in industrial and commercial spaces are hard for humans to detect on their own. These gases, like hydrogen sulfide, can also be extremely dangerous. Explore three reasons why you should monitor for hydrogen sulfide in the workplace.

What Is Hydrogen Sulfide?

Hydrogen sulfide is more commonly called sewer gas because it smells terrible and occurs naturally in sewers. It’s also used in a lot of industrial facilities for a variety of reasons. These industries include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil refining
  • Mining
  • Tanning
  • Paper processing
  • Heavy water creation

Sewer Gas and Fire Hazards

If for no other reason, you should monitor for hydrogen sulfide in the workplace because this gas is highly flammable. Every combustible gas has an upper and lower limit that determines the percentage of a gas that must be present for combustion to happen; hydrogen sulfide has a range of 4.3 percent to 46 percent, which is extremely wide. Fires from sewer gas also travel quickly and have a high chance of zipping back to the source of the gas, causing an explosion.

Hydrogen Sulfide Is Poisonous

People also need to be very careful around hydrogen sulfide because it’s poisonous. In small amounts, the gas can cause sinus irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. With increased exposure, the symptoms can include difficulty breathing, vomiting, and, eventually, death.

Sewer Gas Poisoning Happens Quickly

The third reason you need to monitor for sewer gas at work is because of how quickly it can affect people. Many know that sewer gas smells terrible, but what they don’t know is that the olfactory system stops detecting the smell at high concentrations. With that, you could end up climbing into a sewer or other enclosed area without realizing what you’re breathing. Before you have time to notice any gases, you could begin experiencing serious symptoms.

Protecting Against Hydrogen Sulfide at Work

The best way to protect yourself and others from hydrogen sulfide is to use a stationary gas detector near areas of potential gas buildup. A stationary monitor can indicate when levels of hydrogen sulfide are dangerous enough to cause a workplace hazard; they can even warn you when there’s a potential leak so you can fix it quickly.

Find gas detectors and other safety equipment at TG Technical Services. Let us help you make your workplace a safe environment.