4 Deadly Gases In The Oil And Gas Industry That Workers Should Be Aware Of!

Nidhi Rai

February 04, 2019 11:15 AM

Have you ever been in situations when you feel dizzy or lightheaded after going through a tank battery? Well, many people who work in such conditions feel the same! This dizziness is because of the high concentration of gases and vapors present in the area.

While working in oil fields itself is dangerous, the most critical ones are the invisible and deadly gases. Here’s the list of top 5 deadly gases that can hamper your health and put you in deleterious conditions:

Petroleum Gases:

Petroleum gases consist of toxins like butane, benzene, and methane. However, in oil and gas industries these gases are called as sweet or hydrocarbon gas. Since these gases contain a high amount of carcinogens and benzene, they can cause both long-term and short-term effects on the health.

If the workers are exposed to high concentrations, they might experience acute toxicity on liver, kidney and nervous system. This toxicity can also result in death. Besides, the best way to make employees safe is to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus or call a safety training and consulting service to takle care of hazard. Since employees need to gauge upon the oil storage tanks regularly, this apparatus will safeguard employees life.

Hydrogen Sulfide:

H2S is another deadliest gas in the oil and gas industry, formed through the decay process of organic materials. In oilfields, these gases are found in the formations that are being drilled for the oil. These gases are more deleterious for service workers, contractors, and other oilfield workers, and can cause both short-term and long-term health effects.

H2S, also referred to as sour gas,  because of its odor like rotten eggs, its one of the most toxic gases. This gas can cause a headache, dizziness, nausea, irritation to eyes and nose,  fatigue and loss of consciousness.  Also, the high concentration of H2S can cause immediate death. To control the exposure of this gas, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Monitor Things: Wear personal monitors like a 4-Gas monitor, when working in high-prone areas. Pair everything with electronic equipment that has audible and visual alarms.
  • Respiratory Protection: Wear appropriate protections to safeguard lungs and respiratory organs.

Diesel Fumes And Exhausts:

Since diesel engines power all equipment used in the oil and gas industry, industries are powered with diesel exhausts. Employees exposed to this can develop health effects like headaches, nausea, lung cancer, respiratory disease, and irritation. Here are the things you can use to reduce the risk  of diesel exhausts:

  • Use low emission engines and low sulfur fuel
  • Use monitors checking devices like CO detectors
  • If there’s black smoke, check engine; it can be a result of the improper fuel-to-air ratio

Mercury Vapor:

Liquid mercury has its own risks; however, in the oil and gas industry, it can become a major concern. Although mercury is a natural component, if it gets accumulated on steel pipes, it can condense within separators, valves, and pipes.

Mercury can cause health issues to its central nervous system like tremor, nervousness and more.

So, beware of these gases, train your employees to tackle these hazards of the industry or look for the technological advancement in the construction industry to make a safer environment for employees.