Oilfield Monitoring Equipment and Safer Workplaces

Oil and gas plants run some of the most complicated systems in industrial production today. In addition to this complexity, if a failure occur, the financial and environmental consequences could be gravely serious. For these reasons, oilfield monitoring equipment to manage and monitor oil and gas operations with peak levels of safety, efficiency, and profitability is becoming exponentially more challenging.

Oilfield monitoring equipment introduces new opportunities to address these concerns. Since oil and gas facilities generally hire a relatively small labor force, maximizing maintenance is critical. With state-of-the-art solutions to help service and operations leaders cope better with regular maintenance, more time and resources are available to enhance performance.

Working in an enclosed space that may contain hydrogen sulfide combines two occupational safety hazards: hazardous gas exposure and confined spaces. With the risk of exposure to dangerous gases like hydrogen sulfide, employers need to protect workers using gas detection equipment.

Remote oilfield workers face unique challenges.

Here are reminders of the steps needed to ensure compliance regarding confined spaces:

Use gas detection

As part of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s policies, companies should monitor enclosed working environment for gases before letting workers to step into these areas. Enclosed spaces can include silos, tanks, and other places where it is a challenge for workers to enter and exit. Employers could install oilfield monitoring equipment to measure the level of air contaminants and detect toxic gases. Proper air monitoring is an OSHA requirement for confined spaces that need permits because of the potential presence of gaseous hazards.

Be aware of the symptoms of gas exposure

Workers should determine the symptoms of chemical exposure, such as when they encounter hydrogen sulfide gas. Signs may include shortness of breath and incessant coughing in the case of low concentrations of exposure. Even though hydrogen sulfide has a distinct smell, workers may not be able to immediately tell the amount of exposure there is without devices like gas detectors. Devices such as these should correctly detect, measure, and report the level of hazardous gas in the area.

Establish a line of communication

Another precaution employers should take is to ensure that they have a manager outside the enclosed working area. Having someone on the outside and maintaining a line of communication either through verbal commands, keeping workers in their line of sight or using electronic devices could prepare them for any emergency or rescue services, just in case hazards are detected.

Use respirators

In the event workers are at risk for exposure to toxic gases, employers should provide workers with protective equipment such as respirators that will prevent inhalation of toxic gases and their detrimental health effects.

Setting Up Your Gas Monitoring System

Different types of oilfield monitoring equipment for gas and flame detection systems exist, and each type includes sensor units that are calibrated to monitor the area for a particular family of gas compounds. A central monitoring system gathers data from the individual sensors and alerts management personnel when gas levels are raised.

The most common kind of sensor is a dual-channel apparatus that senses the presence of gases by monitoring the electrically-induced reactions of sample air draws. If the levels increase, the sensor is triggered so it sends information to the monitoring station.

Inspection of the facility is done to best identify the type of sensors used and their optimum positions. The individual sensors are specially set to sense only a certain type of gas, and the flame detection sensors are calibrated to specific heat parameters and radiation frequencies.

Storage tanks for crude oil

A Safer Workplace

A lot of industrial environments where toxic gases are produced are mandated by law to have a oilfield monitoring equipment and system in place. These systems are inspected by trained technicians hired by the county or state where the facility is situated.