In South Texas, wind can be an actual weather hazard when it becomes intense enough, as we have written in an earlier post. On wellsites with active H2S, the released H2S will be pushed around by the wind. When no wind is present, this actually makes it more difficult for released H2S to disperse.
All locations–wellsites, facilities, and rigsites–that have the potential for H2S to be present should have a windsock present on location. This is recommended under API RP 49. The windsock must be visible so that all workers can see which direction the wind is blowing or not blowing.
UPWIND AND CROSSWIND
The path to evade the plume of an H2S source should be taken upwind and crosswind. For a worker standing downwind of a source, the ultimate goal is be situated upwind of the source but traveling upwind through the plume creates more unnecessary exposure. This is why the worker must move crosswind as well to egress upwind of sources while avoiding exposure to the plume.
When an H2S release occurs, the direction of the plume will be controlled by the direction of the blowing wind. If the safe meeting area/muster point is engulfed, then it will no longer be safe due to the shifting wind. This is also true of stores of respirators, vehicles, and other safety devices. These safety devices need to be stored in more than one location so that if the wind blows an H2S plume over them an alternate set will be available. Best practice on wellsites with a potential for H2S is also to designate a primary and a secondary muster point for this reason as well. Primary and secondary safe meeting area need to be spelled out during every meet and greet.
TRAIN IN SAN ANTONIO BEFORE THE H2S RELEASE
As we’ve written earlier, API RP 49 strongly recommends frequent drills to keep H2S reaction skills working properly. The exact frequency is not specified, although BLM requires weekly H2S drills on high H2S potential wells.
Recommended Training: San Antonio H2S Certification
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