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10 Health And Safety Must Haves For An Office Or Home

10 Health and Safety Must Haves for an Office or Home

When it comes to health and safety within an office environment there are certain things that are absolute must haves to ensure a safe working environment for all employees, some of these are legally required or advised by the Health and Safety Executive. Here are the top 10 health and safety must haves to consider for your office.

First Aid Box

The first aid box is one of those things that all offices need and it is a relatively easy requirement to fulfill. There are no set required contents for the first aid box so a combination of sterile plasters, wound dressings, disposable gloves, bandages and antiseptics will suffice, however these should all be individually wrapped in a sterile packaging.  It is advised that medicines are not stored in the first aid box. Ensure everyone in the office is aware of where the first aid box is located so in an emergency it can be accessed as soon as possible.


Hydrogen Sulfide

In the city of Portage La Prairie in April of 1969, two CUPE members and a city official went to the sewage lagoons to check a valve on a feeder line. One member of the crew entered the valve chamber and collapsed. A second member went in to rescue him and also collapsed. The third member summoned help. By the time the fire department arrived both workers were dead. Air samples taken at the time showed hydrogen sulfide levels in excess of the measuring instrument’s upper limits.


There have been numerous workers killed through exposure to this gas in many different occupational settings. Hydrogen sulfide is a poisonous gas and the leading cause of death through gas inhalation in the workplace. One whiff of a sufficiently high concentration can cause death.


What is Hydrogen sulfide?

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colourless gas which at lower concentrations has a distinctive rotten-egg odour. Most exposure to it occurs by inhalation. Hydrogen sulfide is generated as a by-product in many industrial processes or by the decomposition of organic (previously living) matter. It is slightly heavier than air and is therefore especially dangerous in low-lying areas and confined or enclosed workspaces. At high temperatures (260 degrees Celsius, 500 degrees Fahrenheit) hydrogen sulfide reacts explosively. READ MORE

Occupational exposure to hydrogen sulfide in the sour gas industry: some unresolved issues.

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1994;66(3):153-60.


Occupational exposure to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and the medical management of H2S-associated toxicity remains a problem in the sour gas industry and some other industrial settings. The acute effects of exposure to H2S are well recognized, but accurate exposure-response data are limited to acutely lethal effects, even in animal studies. Odor followed by olfactory paralysis and keratoconjunctivitis are the characteristics effects of H2S at lower concentrations. H2S-induced acute central toxicity leading to reversible unconsciousness is a “knockdown”; it is controversial whether repeated or prolonged knockdowns are associated with chronic neurologic sequelae but the evidence is suggestive. Knockdowns can be acutely fatal as a consequence of respiratory paralysis and cellular anoxia. Pulmonary edema is also a well-recognized acute effect of H2S toxicity. Human studies of sublethal exposure with satisfactory exposure assessment are almost nonexistent. There are indications, poorly documented at present, of other chronic health problems associated with H2S exposure, including neurotoxicity, cardiac arrhythmia, and chronic eye irritation but apparently not cancer. Rigorous and comprehensive studies in the sour gas industry are difficult, in part because of confounding exposures and uncertain end points.


PMID: 7814093 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

H2S Alive Edition 7 Enform

Allstar Enviro Safety has been facilitating the H2S Alive Program for over 2 decades in Alberta.


The development of this program was developed by petroleum industry Training Service or PITS as a means of education oil and gas personnel to the dangers of hydrogen sulphide gas. The toxic, flammable, explosive and corrosive gas was responsible for many injuries, knockdowns and deaths.


During the early years of petroleum exploration in Western Canada, many deaths were considered hear attacks. Equipment was breaking down from the corrosive effects of H2S and the Public was regularly exposed to this environmental pollutant that was released from kicks and blow outs.


Pressure from public concern and several blowouts in the Lodgepole area of Alberta helped stakeholders to collect essential and often, unknown information about the health hazards to both the public, environment, materials, equipment and workers alike.


In 1988, PITS released the first edition of the H2S Alive training program. In 2013, the latest edition was released which approaches this subject with a more proactive perspective. This is in comparison to the reactive training of the past, where H2S would be released and the 7 step initial response was the emphasis. To be proactive, the use of a Hazard Assessment, Risk assessment and Control was added.


New workers who are not aware of conducting a field Level hazard assessment or how to reduce hazards by developing a hierarchy of controls are better educated in the process after completion of the program. More emphasis on electronic monitoring and the removal of CPR from the program are several updates to Edition 7.


It is still a 6 – 8 hour program. Upon successful completion of the theory and physical skills and writing a closed book exam, a 3 month temporary ticket is awarded. The mailing of permanent 3 year tickets has been expedited with a faster mailout system directly to the student or their employer after certification.


Enroll today with Allstar Enviro Safety, your safety training pros!

H2S knockdown encounter

I am a client of Allstar Enviro Safety. I told the instructor about my friend who was working in the Oil Sands as a Foreman Scaffolder. Two of his apprentices passed out due to exposure to H2S gas. Without getting respiratory protection, the foreman went to the aid of his fellow workers. Little did he know that they had already passed out from the Hydrogen sulphide exposure. He dragged these men to safety and passed out afterwards.


The foreman spend a lengthy time in the hospital getting better but was told by the physician that he may have taken 10-15 years off his life due to the H2S exposure!


Ryan Verboom Story told July 2014

How to Seek Employment in Alberta’s Lucrative Petroleum and Construction Job Market

One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a Safety Consultant is:
“How can I get Employment in  Alberta’s lucrative job market” ?
Alberta’s booming economy offers great prospects for career opportunities,
particularly in the Petroleum and Construction trades in the next years.
With the highest economic growth of all the provinces, there are 275,000 direct and
indirect  oil and gas jobs to be filled.
When I talk to employers who book safety courses for their staff and contractors they are looking to hire:
a) Tradespeople, such as Carpenters, Heavy Equipment Operators, Mechanics,
     Truck drivers, Electricians,  Instrumentation technologists,  scaffolders, construction laborers. READ MORE

Important Facts about H2S Gas

Hydrogen sulphide gas is a current hazard in the Oil and Gas Industry. It is also prevalent in sewers, landfills, barges, pig farms, muskegs, mines and pulp and paper mills

Alberta is one of the most dangerous places in the world for H2S. Other areas where H2S is common include Europe, the Middle East and also any areas where volcanic activity may produce H2S.

This gas is a colorless chemical that is difficult to pick up with your own senses. Vapor density is heavier than air, but it can rise when mixed with a lighter than air gas stream. It will flow with the other products when agitated, depressurized or heated, and eventually settle into low spots. Be particularly careful in confined spaces and non ventilated areas such as pits, trenches, under the substructure, berms and basements.

We feature the 7th edition of the Enform certified course.  5 sections include  Physical properties, scales and probable locations, Hazard assessment and scenarios, Respiratory protective equipment including SCBA or SABA, Gas monitoring and sampling and Rescues.  You can learn more about the hazards of H2S gas at

H2S Alive has been changed to H2S Alive Edition 7.4

H2S Alive has been changed to H2S Alive Edition 7.4



H2S Alive which is accredited through Enform has a new Edition 7.4.  This is a summary of the new course and how to get the new certification.  Allstar Enviro Safety is an authorized training institute for this program.


Allstar Enviro Safety at presents H2S Alive Edition 7.4.  This new H2S Alive course has some similarities to the previous Edition 6, in that it still consists of:

a)      H2S Properties, Scales, Points of Release and Health hazards

b)      Respiratory Protective Equipment (SCBA and SABA)

c)       Detection of H2S

d)      Rescue techniques and the 7 step Initial Response Strategy


However, major changes were undertook to modernize the program and to prepare new workers who are entering the oil and gas, transportation and construction trades.

New additions include:


a)      Hazard Assessment and Control.  Severity and Probability, determination of risk, and application of controls using Elimination and Substitution, Engineering, Administrative controls and personal protective equipment will be emphasized.


b)      While the previous program had Case studies, the new scenarios for a variety of sites in the petroleum industry will provide students with the process to identify the risks and respond to emergencies that could affect people, materials, equipment and the environment.


c)       CPR has been removed from the program. Since workers should have first aid and CPR to be employed in these industries, this removes any repetition in training and allows more time for other skills practice.


d)      Detector tubes are demonstrated by the instructor but have less emphasis in the new edition as compared to the use of personal, portable placed and fixed monitors.

To enroll in the new Edition 7.4. go to and register. A video about this new course and what it contains is here


This popular website has featured H2S Alive and many other classroom based safety seminars. It also offers online and blended online programs.

About Arliss T.E. Levine, CRSP CHSC BA

Arliss is a Certified External Health and Safety Auditor and trainer in the Alberta area.


By Arliss Levine

Allstar Enviro Safety

557 -7620 Elbow Dr. SW.

Calgary AB T2V 1K2


Online Blended First Aid

One of the greatest fears an person might face is the possibility of a first aid or medical emergency.


It is surprising that most people are unprepared for an injury or health emergency, even though statistically it is likely that everyone will face some sort of medical situation in their lifetime. READ MORE

Confined Space Online

Historically, many workers have crawled into vessels, tanks and sewers to unclog a drain or to troubleshoot a maintenance issue. Subsequently, they died from the hazards in a confined space without analyzing in advance the dangers present. Due to the lack of analysis, journalists tended to call it “death from heart attack or suicide”. In fact, the reason for death was due to a severe atmospheric or physical hazard within a confined space. READ MORE