Last year, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) revised the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) training program standard, ANSI/ASSE Z390.1-2017. This standard is used widely in the oil and gas industry, petrochemical operations, and numerous other industries. Anyone working in or around these industries should become familiar with this standard. Please use this month’s Toolbox Talk, Hydrogen Sulfide Safety Awareness, to introduce the topic to your employees.

Some of the significant changes include:

  • Instead of using use the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists threshold limit value (ACGIH TLV) to identify the exposure limit, the occupational exposure limit will be used. The occupational exposure limit is decided by the employer or facility based upon “…consensus standards, regulations, and health, safety, and environmental (HSE) professionals.”
  • Training criteria for certification was added, with specific instructor training criteria including certification requirements and minimum course content for worker training, train-the-trainer courses, and site-specific orientations.
  • Instructors can now conduct a needs assessment to determine the course material required to meet the standard’s objectives.
  • The length of class is required to be a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, with minimum content specified.
  • The standard requires PPE must be designed for protection from H2S exposure. Personnel who might use respiratory protection, specifically a tight-fitting supplied air respirator, must comply with ANSI Z88 and/or OSHA 1910.134 and receive medical evaluation and fit-testing.
  • Facilities are required to have an emergency action plan, and contingency plans may be required.
  • Instructors must now assess student competency and issue certification cards.


Hydrogen Sulfide in the Oil and Gas Industry – Free OH&S Webinar

Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Time: 2:00 PM (EST)/1:00 PM (CT)/11:00 AM (PST)
Speaker: Wayne Vanderhoof, CSP, RETTEW
Click here to register

Adhering to new standards can often seem complicated and burdensome. Let RETTEW help you address compliance issues to ensure you are following best practices. Wayne Vanderhoof, CSP, recently joined RETTEW as a Senior Health and Safety Consultant in our Pittsburgh, PA, office. Wayne has more than 25 years of safety consulting experience, with special industry experience in the energy and construction markets. He can be reached at or 724.809.4234.


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