To protect workers from harmful hydrogen sulfide exposures:
Conduct air monitoring prior to and at regular times during any work activity where hydrogen sulfide exposure is possible. When working in confined spaces air monitoring must be conducted in accord with the applicable OSHA standards. Detector tubes, direct reading gas monitors, alarm only gas monitors, and explosion meters are examples of monitoring equipment that may be used to test permit space atmospheres.
Information on general atmospheric testing methods:
These safety measures are important because hydrogen sulfide is flammable and can corrode materials if they are not properly protected. When working in confined spaces ventilation should operate continuously and must be conducted in accord with the applicable OSHA standards.
WARNING: First responders must be trained and properly protected before entering areas with elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide.
Rescuer protection should include:
Refer to Other Resources for more information about controlling hydrogen sulfide exposures in specific industries and operations.
Follow OSHA requirements for confined space entry. Enter the space only if necessary and follow established procedures:
See also: Permit-Required Confined Spaces in General Industry (PDF*). OSHA QuickCard. Explains what workers should do before entering a confined space, such as underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, silos or manholes based on the requirements of OSHA's Standard for Permit-required Confined Spaces [29 CFR 1910.146].
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.
All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.
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