June 2, 2014 Justin McCarter Share
BW, BW Honeywell, Eagle 2, gas detection, Gas Monitor, GX-2009, GX-2012, hydrogen sulfide. h2s, portable gas monitor, RAE Systems, RKI Instruments, short-term exposure limits, STEL, time-weighted averages, TWA
Recently RKI Instruments sent out a notice explaining a change to their alarm settings on Eagle 2, GX-2009, and GX-2012 monitors. In order to comply with new industry standards developed by the fine folks at the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), RKI Instruments is lowering their Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) threshold limit values.
These aren’t the regular lower level alarms (like someone who writes blogs and has two thumbs first thought). These are the exposure limits over time. The Threshold Limit Value-Time-Weighted Average (TWA) for these monitors is now 1.0 ppm and TLV-STEL (Threshold Limit Value-Short-Term Exposure Limit) is now 5.0 ppm. Initial exposure limits won’t be affected, but over the course of the working day, there may be more instances of monitors going into alarm than before.
We know many of the tough-as-nails oil and gas production workers and others in industrial site maintenance who may be affected will roll their eyes at this. I can hear them now – “Dang alarms are just slowing me down. This stuff doesn’t hurt me”. OK, maybe they don’t say “dang alarms,” but you get the idea.
ACGIH leads the procession toward tighter regulations and greater work safety in this issue. While modern workers may feel confined by the tightening of regulations, it was ACGIH work that categorized and created the standards over the past 75 years. Not many folks enjoy change, especially when it seems like it’s change for the sake of change, but few would argue the fact that worker safety has greatly improved with ACGIH on watch.