Why Workers Need to Get Certified in H2S Alive Training


Why Workers Need to Get Certified in H2S Alive Training

Whether you are a business owner in Red Deer and Alberta, or just researching about H2S – we hope this article will help you understand importance of the H2S Alive Training in the Workplace. If you would like to learn more about H2S Alive Training in Red Deer, get in touch with us to book a session!

Why Workers Need to Get Certified in H2S Alive Trainingsmoke_1

In the Canadian petroleum industry, H2S Alive® is mandatory for all workers that may come into contact with hydrogen sulfide gas. There have been many recorded incidents involving hydrogen sulfide, and H2S training is a mandatory requirement for all workers in the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry at risk for contact.

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) occurs naturally in the earth in crude petroleum, natural gas reservoirs, volcanic gases and hot springs. Natural gas and crude oil containing H2S are also referred to as “sour”. Hydrogen sulfide is also produced from:

  • Paper Mills
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants
  • Tanneries
  • Production and Refining of Petroleum
  • The breakdown of human and animal wastes by bacteria


h2s dangerous gas
Hydrogen Sulfide and the Human Body

Hydrogen sulfide gas is a naturally occurring substance produced by anaerobic digestion (a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen). Research of H2S in the human body has shown that very small concentrations act as a signaling molecule to support a variety of functions within the body. When larger concentrations are inhaled, H2S is poisonous to humans. Its toxicity can be compared to that of carbon monoxide or cyanide and quickly cause paralysis to the respiratory system and unconsciousness. The concentration inhaled to cause unconsciousness and respiration to stop varies due to individual physiological characteristics, but in general the average threshold level is thought to be between 300-500 parts per million.


Hydrogen Sulfide at the Work Site

As previously mentioned, hydrogen sulfide gas can be found in natural gas and crude oil. Its presence makes it a regular fixture in the lives of all petroleum industry workers. Government regulations control the maximum exposure to which workers can be exposed. These limits vary by province and can be located in the Occupational Health and Safety regulations for the individual provinces.

Aside from the health risks posed to workers by inhalation, H2S is also extremely flammable. Given that H2S is commonly mixed with other hydrocarbons (i.e. crude oil and natural gas), exposure to highly flammable gas mixtures presents another hazard while working.


H2S Alive® Training

Because of the risks of H2S exposure to workers in the petroleum industry, most workers must successfully complete a H2S course before working in the field. Most companies will only accept Enform’s H2S Alive® course.

As the industry standard in Canada and recognized around the world, students will learn how to work safely in and around hydrogen sulfide (H2S) environments and receive a 3-year certificate. This course covers the following topics:

  • H2S properties, Health Hazards and Locations – Including worker exposure limitsh2s alive
  • Hazard Assessment and Control – Including H2S case studies
  • Respiratory Protective Equipment – Including Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus
  • Detection of H2S – Gas detection demonstrations with various detection devices
  • Initial Response Strategy – 7 steps; including 4 rescue techniques and case studies


Student Requirements:


  • Participants must be able to put on a mask and breathe under air
  • Participants must be able to participate in rescue drag techniques
  • Basic literacy and understanding in the language the course is being taught


Breathing under air:

Taking a breath under air is mandatory for students.


Language Barriers:

Students must have a basic understanding in the language the safety critical course is being taught. We recommend you contact us if you have specific clients you would like guidance on.   

H2S Alive Certification

Wheels On Ltd is an authorized provider for Enform H2S Alive® course and offers it multiple times per week, utilizing experienced industry professionals certified by Enform. We have 2 locations in Alberta which provide safety and transportation training – Red Deers and Olds. Wheels On Ltd can be contacted at (403) 343-2799 or info@wheelson.ca 


Image used is from Georgia State University.