Hydrogen Sulphide (also called ‘sour gas’, ‘sewer gas’)
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The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996
Chemical and Biological Substances
General duties of employers
302(1) An employer shall, at a place of employment:
(a) monitor the use or presence of, or a worker's exposure to, any chemical substance or any biological substance that may be hazardous or harmful to the health or safety of a worker;
(b) where reasonably practicable, substitute a less hazardous or harmful chemical substance or biological substance for a hazardous or harmful chemical substance or biological substance;
(c) subject to subsection 307(1), to the extent that is reasonably practicable, reduce any contamination of the place of employment by a chemical substance or biological substance; and
(d) develop and implement work procedures and processes that are as safe as is reasonably practicable for the handling, use, storage, production and disposal of chemical substances and biological substances.
(2) An employer shall take all practicable steps to prevent exposure of a worker, to an extent that is likely to be harmful to the worker, to:
(a) a chemical substance or biological substance that may be hazardous; or
(b) a chemical substance or biological substance in combination or association with any other substance present that may be hazardous.
(3) An employer shall:
(a) inform the workers of the nature and degree of the effects to their health or safety of any chemical substance or biological substance to which the workers are exposed in the course of their work; and
(b) provide the workers with adequate training with respect to:
(i) work procedures and processes developed pursuant to clause (1)(d); and
(ii) the proper use of any personal protective equipment required by these regulations.
(4) An employer shall make available to the committee, the representative or, where there is no committee or representative, the workers:
(a) theresults of any measurements of worker exposureto,and contamination of a place of employment by, a chemical substance or biological substance; and
(b) any steps taken to reduce the contamination of a place of employment by, and eliminate or reduce exposure of the workers to, a chemical substance or biological substance.
Oil and Gas
410 In this Part:
(a) "derrick" means a stationary or portable structure that is used to support the hoisting and lowering mechanism on a rig;
(b) "drilling rig" means the derrick and all equipment that is directly involved with drilling a well or producing oil or gas from a well;
(c) "flush-by" means a pumping unit that is used to loosen formation deposits in a well;
(d) "rig" includes a drilling rig and a well servicing rig;
(e) "swabbing unit" means equipment that uses wire rope to lift fluids from a well;
(f) "well servicing rig" means all equipment directly involved with servicing a well;
(g) "well testing" means evaluating the productivity of a well and the quality of the product.
4 Oct 96 cO-1.1 Reg 1 s410.
Application of Part
411 This Part applies to all drilling procedures for the exploration of oil and gas and to the drilling, operation and servicing of a gas well or an oil well, the production of oil or gas from a well and the ancillary processes associated with these activities.
412(1) An employer, contractor or owner shall appoint a competent person to supervise any oil or gas exploration, drilling, servicing, testing or production operation.
(2) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that the supervisor appointed pursuant to subsection (1) is knowledgeable about, and experienced in the following matters that are within the area of the supervisor's responsibility:
(a) safe work practices, including the safe operation of any plant at the place of employment;
(b) the safe handling, use and storage of hazardous substances;
(c) well control and blowout prevention;
(d) the detection and control of worker exposure to hydrogen sulphide;
(e) the handling, use, maintenance and storage of personal protective equipment;
(f) the appropriate response to any emergency situation at the place of employment;
(g) the duties and responsibilities of all workers being supervised by the supervisor;
(h) the training of workers being supervised by the supervisor in safe work practices and procedures.
(3) An employer, contractor or owner who has appointed a supervisor pursuant to subsection (1) shall:
(a) give written notice to all employers and self-employed persons who are involved in the operation of the name, method of contact, duties and responsibilities of the supervisor; and
(b) obtain written acknowledgement from each employer or self-employed person involved in the operation that the employer or self-employed person has received the notice required by clause (a) and has agreed to accept the direction of the supervisor.
Daily tour book
413 An employer, contractor or owner shall:
(a) provide for each rig a daily tour book and ensure that the book is kept at the site of the rig;
(b) ensure that all details of any inspection required by this Part, any repair made and all work activities undertaken at the site of the rig are recorded in the daily tour book;
c) ensure that the record required by clause (b) is signed by the worker who performs the inspection; and
(d) ensure that the supervisor reviews the entries for the day in the tour book and signs the tour book daily.
414 An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that:
(a) a rig is inspected by a competent person before commencing operations and at least every 30 working days after that; and
(b) where a defect or unsafe condition is identified during an inspection, an employer, contractor or supplier shall:
(i) take steps immediately to protect the health and safety of any worker who may be at risk until the defect is repaired or the unsafe condition is corrected; and
(ii) as soon as is reasonably practicable, repair any defect or correct any unsafe condition.
Drill stem testing
439 During drill stem testing, an employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that:
(a) if fluids are encountered, the mud can and test plug are used on every joint of pipe that is disconnected unless the drill stem contents have been pumped out and replaced with drilling fluid;
(b) motors and engines that are not required in the testing operation are shut off;
(c) no motor vehicle is operated within 25 metres of the wellbore;
(d) where swivel joints are used in the piping system, the source and discharge ends of the piping system are secured in a manner that will prevent whipping and flailing of the pipe if the pipe separates from the source or discharge connection;
(e) where hydrocarbons or hydrogen sulphide may accumulate, hydrogen sulphide and hydrocarbon monitors are installed, with the readouts clearly visible to the driller on the derrick floor;
(f) the hydrogen sulphide monitor is capable of detecting hydrogen sulphide at a concentration of 14 milligrams per cubic metre of air, is calibrated and tested before use and is properly maintained;
(g) where hydrogen sulphide or hydrocarbons are found to be present at levels that may place a worker at risk, the formation fluids in the drill stem are replaced with drilling fluid and circulated to a flare pit or holding tank that is not less than 45 metres from the well;
(h) a tank level alarm that is clearly audible to the driller on the derrick floor or a tank level indicator is installed on the trip tank and is properly maintained;
(i) a tank level indicator mentioned in clause (h) has a read-out that is clearly visible to the driller on the derrick floor; and
(j) before tripping the drill pipe out of the hole, reverse circulation procedures are implemented.
[Sections 307 and 309, clause 346(f)]
Also check Tables 19 and 20 for substances
(such as asbestos and benzene) with additional requirements
8 hour 15 minute
limit mg/m³* limit mg/m³*
CAS Number Substance or ppm* or ppm*
7783-06-4 Hydrogen sulphide 10 ppm 15 ppm
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