What is H2S?

H2S, otherwise known as Hydrogen Sulfide, is a gas that is commonly found during drilling and the production of crude oil and natural gas, in water treatment, and sewer maintenance. Like Carbon Monoxide H2S is toxic and will prevent cellular respiration, which means that early detection is the difference between life and death.

The gas is colorless, toxic, corrosive, and flammable. The most common descriptor used to identify this gas is the overwhelming smell of rotting eggs. Waiting until you smell Hydrogen Sulfide is not a viable prevention and safety method, there are a number of simple to use detectors and respirators available.

What is H2S used for?

H2S gas and liquid is mostly known for a few specific uses, such as being a common ingredient in the creation of heavy water for nuclear reactors, as the main ingredient needed for Sulfer and Sulfuric Acid production, and as a compound in the production of many common dyes, leather, and pharmaceuticals.

What to do if H2S is present?

In the case of an H2S leak, there are five main steps that should be taken, and they should all be included in a previously prepared gas detection plan.

1. Evacuate the area immediately.
2. Notify all coworkers of the H2S leak.
3. Activate all appropriate alarms.
4. Alert the emergency response team.
5. Help the emergency response team by doing a headcount, identifying trained rescuers, checking for anyone that may be injured, and by letting everyone know of any other potential hazards.


When engineering and administrative controls are not effective in controlling exposure to H2S, suitable Personal Protective Equipment must be used.

Skin Protection: Gloves, aprons, and boots may be required when working where H2S liquid or gas is present depending on the requirements of your workplace.

Eye protection: Airtight chemical safety goggles should be worn when working near H2S, as it is a severe eye irritation risk.

Respiratory Protection: SCBA, SABA, or APR equipment will be required for escape when there is a leak, when repairing a leak, or when you do not know the level of H2S in an area.

What is H2S Training

The Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) training program we provide covers the topics you need to understand when working with or near H2S. The H2S course covers 8 major topics. This training is certified for 3 years and should be renewed before it expires, as well you will be issued an H2S Certificate showing your training completion.

Chapter 1: Hydrogen Sulfide Safety
Chapter 2: Employer and Employee Responsibilities
Chapter 3: Hazard Assessment
Chapter 4: Detection of H2S
Chapter 5: Health Effects of H2S
Chapter 6: H2S Hazard Controls
chapter 7: Personal Protective Equipment
chapter 8: Treatment of H2S Exposure

Published: November 19, 2019
Last Modified: November 11, 2019