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Category Archives: Hydrogen Sulfide Protection Service Solutions

Hydrogen Sulfide: What’s the Stink?

By Mandy Sunderland, Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Total Safety

For the best in H2S Protection Services & Equipment, go Total Safety.In response to concerns over new toxicological data on the effects of chronic exposure to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has voted to substantially reduce their recommended exposure limits for H2S. They have dropped their 8 hour time weighted average Threshold Limit Value (TLV-TWA8) for H2S from 10 ppm to 1 ppm, and their Short Term Exposure Limit (TLV-STEL) from 15 ppm to 5 ppm. Unfortunately, most H2S measurement and monitoring equipment currently available for use in the workplace isn’t accurate in the 1 ppm range.  Confirming compliance with the new standards will be a challenge for health and safety practitioners.

ACGIH TLV’s reflects industry consensus on the level of exposure a typical worker can experience without unreasonable risk of disease or injury. Unlike Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL’s) set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), TLV’s are voluntary standards and not enforceable by law. However, most employers adopt them in order to help ensure maximum protection of employees in the workplace. 

So what’s the stink about H2S?

Hydrogen sulfide is an extremely toxic and irritating gas. It has a strong odor of rotten eggs at low concentrations, but deadens the sense of smell at higher concentrations, which can mask its presence. Inhalation of 500-1000 ppm will cause rapid unconsciousness and death through respiratory paralysis and asphyxiation. Inhalation of low concentrations may cause headache, dizziness and upset stomach. Even at concentrations under 5 ppm, metabolic changes and increased anxiety have been reported in people who are exercising.

Three primary types of instruments are used to detect and monitor H2S exposures: fixed area detectors, portable area detectors, and personal detectors. Fixed area detectors alert operators to leaks and releases in the workplace and have typically been set to alarm at concentrations of 10 to 15 ppm. Portable area detectors are used to test confined spaces and general work areas to confirm elevated levels of H2S are not present. Personal detectors are worn by employees and will sound an audible alarm at levels of 10 to 15 ppm.  A wide variety of reliable and well regarded H2S detectors which measure and alarm in the 10 ppm range are available to industry.  However, there is limited availability of detectors which operate accurately in the 1 ppm range.

In November 2009, in anticipation of the new ACGIH reduced exposure limits for H2S, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) completed an extensive report entitled a Feasibility Study on Responding to a Lower Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure Limit for Workers.  This study identified some limited options for commercially available equipment that measure H2S to 1 ppm.  While this measurement technology exists, not all of it is feasible for use in the workplace, or considered to be consistently sensitive enough to measure concentrations at 1 ppm.   Validated methods listed in the study include a Colorimetric Detector Tube system to measure TLV-TWA8 and Electrochemical Sensor Meters for use as personal detectors.  Of the six portable detectors listed, only two are feasible for use in the workplace. Gold Film detectors appeared promising, but are not suitable for use in hazardous locations.

So where does that leave the safety and health practitioner?  Most of us will have to continue to rely on current detector technology which may not provide reliable and accurate measurements at the new TLV’s while we wait for innovations from manufacturers and suppliers.  On the practical side, if there are known concentrations of H2S in the workplace, we can take extra precautions to minimize worker exposures by installing engineering controls and taking prompt action in response to leaks and alarms.  Common sense and good judgment, combined with smart use of existing technology, will enable us to continue to provide adequate protection to the workforce until the next generation of H2S detection and monitoring equipment arrives.

For more information on Total Safety and how we can equip your company with the best in H2S protection and safety services, give us a call at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Enters Industrial Hygiene Services Business

Houston – August 25, 2009

Total Safety, the global leader of integrated industrial safety services and equipment, is expanding into Industrial Hygiene Services and will provide comprehensive solutions for exposure monitoring, hazard and risk assessments, respiratory protection programs, ergonomic assessments, indoor air quality, asbestos, and lead and mold monitoring. In addition, Richard Matherne, CIH, has joined Total Safety as Manager of Industrial Hygiene Services. Richard has over 30 years experience as a Certified Industrial Hygienist in the petrochemical industry.

“We are excited to enter this new line of business, and Richard’s experience and knowledge will ensure we will continue to meet the needs of our customers,” said Paul Tyree, Vice President of US Operations.

Total Safety also offers customized safety services built around each customer’s specific requirements, including:

Learn more about Total Safety’s entire line of industrial safety services & equipment by calling us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Expands to Enhance Workers Safety

Houston – December 16, 2008

To meet the growing demand of safety service solutions, Total Safety opens 4 new service centers- Benicia, CA, Signal Hill, CA, Shreveport, LA, Tulsa, OK – and expands to new offices in Denver, CO and Sulphur, LA.

All Total Safety locations are equipped with expert service capabilities serving the industrial sector including the rental, sales and service of:

Total Safety also offers customized safety services built around each customer’s specific requirements.

“We’re expanding to meet the needs of our customers. That’s always our first priority- to keep workers
safe and companies in compliance,” said Paul Tyree, Total Safety Vice President, U.S. Operations.

New Locations:

Benicia, CA
518 Stone Road
Benicia, CA 94510

Signal Hill, CA
2701 Junipero Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755

Denver, CO
5590 Havana Street, Unit A
Denver, CO 80239

Shreveport, LA (January 2009)
500 Flournoy Lucas Road, Building 5
Shreveport, LA 71106

New Offices:

Sulphur, LA
3205 Metric Drive
Sulphur, LA 70665

Tulsa, OK
1327 North 105th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74116

Find out more information about Total Safety and any of our industrial safety services & equipment by calling 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety: Keep your workers safe and grow your bottom line

By Marty Tesselaar, UK District Manager, Total Safety

November 2008 Energy International

Leading industrial companies around the world know a good thing when they use it. They hire BEH/Total Safety because of its impeccable reputation for providing customized safety and compliance solutions. They trust the company to optimize workflows, accelerate project lifecycles, improve efficiency and alleviate administrative burdens all without compromising their own core competencies.

They do this all by adhering to one rule and one rule only. It is their promise and pledge that they keep to their clients, to their staff and to their families every single day. BEH/Total Safety’s mission is to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide (W3).

Their team of over 1400 experts now operates in 37 locations, in 11 countries spanning 5 continents. Two of these facilities proudly reside in the United Kingdom-Knottingley, West Yorkshire and Aberdeen, Scotland. The company is here locally and 100% committed to serve their customers with two of their strongest business lines.

One of the world’s largest fleet of wireless gas detection systems

Only BEH/Total Safety has the people, programs and processes to deliver one of the industry’s best and largest gas detection instrumentation to local operations. Working with this team allows businesses to hire premium equipment at competitive prices, therefore optimizing their investments in safety devices. Customers can also expect unsurpassed quality of service and repair because BEH/Total Safety only utilizes the highest standard of testing and calibration. Don’t allow bottlenecks during turnarounds to stop production. From refining and petrochemical facilities to offshore drilling platforms, this company provides the top quality gas detection solutions that companies need to keep their people safe and their operations profitable.

This is just a small example of the types of instruments BEH/Total Safety carries.

Exclusive turnkey H2S custom respiratory protection solutions

This safety company is also the expert at delivering custom respiratory solutions packaged for strict operating demands, such as their H2S service for oil and gas drilling environments. By recruiting and training only the best technicians, BEH/Total Safety is trusted industry-wide to develop site-specific contingency plans and provide turnaround safety services and consultation to keep companies up and running.

Plus, they are a highly respected source for respiratory (SCBA) equipment hires and sales and respiratory pulmonary function tests with fit testing. With the best minds in the business handling respiratory needs, companies have a single-source partner for all Grade D breathing air demands. Below is a small sample of what BEH/Total Safety offers in respiratory services.

Equipment service, compliance and engineering

This team of safety experts meticulously services all of the equipment that they sell and hire which means everything is maintained for optimum performance and regulatory compliance standards.

Industry leaders rely on BEH/Total Safety’s on-site or in-shop services where trained and certified technicians are on call around the clock, seven days a week. Because services are custom built to a customer’s specifications, this service infrastructure eliminates equipment-related bottlenecks to keep projects on time and within budget.

On-site service

BEH/Total Safety’s expertise makes gas detection services and respiratory protection solutions fast and easy. Their In-Plant Service Centers (IPSCs) make equipment sales, service, maintenance, upgrade, documentation and management more economical by stationing their assets where companies need them most.

To learn more about Total Safety or any of our industrial safety services & equipment, give us a call at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Welcomes Inter-Mountain Safety Company, Inc. (IMS) to the Family

Houston – August 3, 2007

On August 3, 2007, Total Safety completed the acquisition of Inter-Mountain Safety Company, Inc. (IMS) a provider of comprehensive safety services to the oil and gas industry in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The primary service offerings include hydrogen sulfide (H2S) protection services, site safety professionals, the sales, rental, inspection, repair and maintenance of respiratory protection and gas detection equipment as well as safety training to the upstream sector.

“Total Safety is very pleased to announce this most recent acquisition,” said David E. Fanta, Chief Executive Officer of Total Safety. “The addition of IMS allows us to better serve our upstream customers as a single point of contact for safety solutions. IMS’s reputation for quality personnel and services is unsurpassed in the Rocky Mountains.”

IMS founder Frank Kaunitz states, “The management team of IMS is excited to be a part of the Total Safety family and looks forward to integrating our services and further expanding our client base with the same trusted personnel.”

The combination of these two well respected companies and their management and employee teams will continue to allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and further provide our enhanced safety service solutions. Our number one goal is to make this change as smooth as possible and to continue to execute our mission, “to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide”.

To learn more about Total Safety or any of our industrial safety services & equipment, give us a call at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!