Safety Alert: HSE safety notice Hydrogen Sulphide
There have been a number of significant incidents globally in recent years relating to hydrogen sulphide, either during the discharge of cargo, handling of cargo or as a result of inhalation of the fumes from this cargo.
HSE has issued a safety notice after identifying high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in ullage spaces of cargo and slop tanks. Members who may be at risk of hydrogen sulphide exposure are reminded to review SiP 015 – guidance on confined spaces.
The high concentrations (up to 16,000ppm) are above the upper measuring limits of the standard portable gas monitoring equipment generally used onboard tankers and floating production storage and offloading (FPSOs) and may be undetected.
Hydrogen sulphide concentrations over 1,000ppm can cause immediate collapse with loss of breathing, even after inhalation of a single breath. This corrosive gas can also pit and corrode steel, which can affect the integrity of cargo containment systems and hull structures.
Duty holders operating FPSOs and floating storage units (FSUs) must regularly monitor ullage spaces of cargo and slop tanks for the presence of toxic gas such as hydrogen sulphide, using appropriate equipment.
If detected, duty holders must ensure that the installation has adopted and implemented a suitable hydrogen sulphide management process in accordance with HSE’s information sheet.
For further information visit: Managing hydrogen sulphide detection offshore (hse.gov.uk)
ICHCA International is committed to helping industry to learn lessons fast, learn them once and make sure that they stay learnt. This information is intended to provide all organisations in the cargo supply chain with the opportunity to consider the events and to review and adapt their own health and safety control measures to proactively prevent future incidents.
We are grateful to PSS and HSE for providing details. We acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others. If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls. Learning content like this is highly valuable as it is based on real-world experience. We encourage everyone with publishable information about incidents to send it to us, so that we can raise awareness across the whole industry. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; sharing your insight could save a life or prevent injury.