Oil & Gas Safety | The Importance of Training, Wireless Gas Detection and Disaster Recovery Planning

Are all gas leaks dangerous?

According to Nicholas Kawa, only some leaks are dangerous. Kawa worked as a gas leak investigator. During his job, Kawa was surprised to find out that gas leaks were everywhere and not all leaks were fixed right away. In a time where people are thinking about safety and are buying things like wireless gas detection systems, why aren’t all leaks fixed right away?

Well, only gas leaks that have 5 – 15% concentration are actually explosive. Kawa realized that gas leaks were everywhere and only the riskiest leaks were prioritized.

oil & gas safety stats

Even though most leaks are harmless, gas safety is still important. Over the past few years, we’ve heard a lot of gas accident stories. Here are a few examples.

Examples of Oil & Gas Disasters


Gas Explosion, Etobicoke 2003

I had a personal experience with this disaster. At the time of the accident, I was still in elementary school. On that day, I was playing in recess and then heard the loudest “bang!” of my life. Of course, we were all scared and ran back to our teachers.

It turned out that the bang was from a nearby accident. A construction crew was working at a site when it struck a gas line. It caused a gas leak and the resulting explosion destroyed a strip mall.

Since 2003, several companies were fined for the accident. It also prompted businesses to take a closer look at their safety policies to prevent a future accident.

Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster

Lac-Mégantic, a small town in Québec, was forever changed by a rail accident. In 2013, a train derailed and destroyed a section of the town. How did this accident happen?

The train, which was carrying fuel, was stopped for a crew change. While the train was braked, a gas leak fire caused a small fire. Firefighters were able to put out the fire, but in the process, the train’s brakes loosened. This caused the train to roll down the tracks, derail, and crash into downtown Lac-Mégantic.

The crash was later called one of the worst rail disasters in Canada. It was deadly and nearly destroyed all of Lac-Mégantic’s downtown buildings.

Bhopal Disaster

The Bhopal disaster was perhaps the worst gas disaster in history. In 1984, a pesticide plant had an accident which released tons of poisonous gases.
Over 600,000 people in nearby towns were exposed to these gases. It was horrifying – thousands of people died that night and many more thousands died over the years.

To this day, there are still lingering effects. The nearby towns still have uncleaned gases. In fact, the government still labels the area as contaminated.

Oil & Gas Safety

As seen in the previous 3 stories, oil and gas safety can save lives. Some safety best practices include:

oil & gas safety best practices

Employee training

Since accidents can cause wide damage, businesses spend a lot of time preventing accidents. One of the best prevention tools is training employees.

For instance, fuel companies set up policies around anything from uniforms to driving rules to vehicle inspection. After creating policies, businesses train and monitor employees. Proactive business, as a result, had much lower accident rates.

Wireless gas detection

A useful safety tool is using wireless gas detection. One of the biggest safety risks is odourless gas spills. Gas, in its natural state, is odourless. Sometimes, employees might not notice gas spills until it’s too late.

Enter wireless gas detection systems. These systems include both wireless gas detection sensors and remote shut off buttons. Sensors are portable kits that alert employees about gas threats. In addition, employees can use remote shut off buttons to cut equipment power.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Disaster recovery planning is where a business plans ahead for accidents. Although being accident-free is always the goal, businesses still need to prepare for emergencies.

For example, one company regularly conducts drills. These drills train employees on how to respond quickly to oil and gas accidents. As a result, when a spill actually happened, employees were able to quickly work with emergency services to contain the damage.

The Atlantic: Gas Leaks Can’t Be Tamed
CBC: Enbridge fined $700K for fatal Etobicoke explosion
National Post: Lac Mégantic ‘may well be the most devastating rail accident in Canadian history’
The Atlantic: Bhopal: The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster, 30 Years Later
EWEB: Tanker Crash Highlights Importance of Emergency Preparedness and Response Efforts

Safety Monitoring System: The Man Down System Protects Your Lone Workers

Man Down Safety Monitoring System Protects Your Lone Workers

GoFleet’s Man Down System is a safety monitoring system that is designed to protect lone employees who work in hazardous occupations. It is an automatic two way radio device that provides businesses with total accountability. When the employee’s TPASS 3 is alarmed, the safety monitoring system will immediately identify the name of the person. The Man Down System is the only monitoring system that can transmit emergency alarms and receive messages.

The safety monitoring system also works as a confirmation system. You can ensure your lone workers’ safety with important check-ins. If the system goes out-of-range, your manager will automatically be alerted. There is also a manual panic button. In the case of an emergency, your worker will be able to contact you with the simple press of a button. Once the alarm is enabled, your worker will receive an alarm acknowledgement. Your worker will know you have been alerted and help is on the way.

The system has a motion sensor. If the worker becomes incapacitated, the motion sensor accelerometer will trigger the alarm. This provides your lone workers with the needed security in the case they are unable to press the panic button themselves. The safety monitoring system has up to two miles line of sight from your vehicle. This enables you to pinpoint your worker even when he is far away from the vehicle.

The GoFleet safety monitoring system is heavy duty and safe. The batteries are rechargeable. This eliminates the extra cost of changing batteries. Charging time is between six and eight hours. Drivers can easily charge the Man Down System in their vehicle. Once the battery is fully charged, it will provide up to 80 operational hours before it needs to be charged again.

Benefits of Using a Man Down System

Man Down System Benefits

Emergencies often occur all of a sudden. If you own a business, you surely need to ensure protection and safety of your employees. This becomes more important if your employees have to stay outdoors for longs hours. In such cases, man down systems can come to your rescue. These are modern day alarm systems that have gone a long way to shorten the time between trouble recurrence and rescue.

man down system
Thanks to their capability to detect the exact location of the individual, where he or she has encountered some problem, such devices can transmit the necessary information to the security centre from where help could be rendered in real time.

Man down systems use the best of hi-tech technology to relay such information. Thanks to them, faster communication is achieved and the location of the person in distress is determined with precision.

There are several benefits of using man down systems;

  • Firstly, they are handy devices with a panic alarm button, which requires the user to simply press it when they sense or face some kind of trouble.
  • Secondly, these devices give lone workers peace of mind by offering them maximum security. With the use of modern technology like ultrasound waves, infrared radiations and global positioning system, transmission of SOS calls and their reception becomes a fast process, which in turn ensures optimum security during times of duress.
  • The third best thing about man down systems is their automatic response. In an emergency situation, a worker may not be able to press the panic button in case he/she has become unconscious. This is when a typical man down system would use its sensors to activate its signal transmission automatically within 25 seconds. If a worker is still for some time and has an angular orientation of more than 45 degrees with the ground, the alarm is capable of sending signals on its own. For instance, if a worker is attacked or inhales poisonous fumes, and falls to the ground after becoming unconscious, after a brief beep, an alarm would be activated. The brief beep period acts as a warning to the wearer that an alarm will be activated soon. This way, activities that can trigger false alarms like when one is tying his shoe laces can be avoided.

Apart from being extremely reliable and capable security devices, the man down systems are also cost effective as you can install them at a fraction of what it would cost you to use other tracking measures like CCTVs etc. So, start using them today to offer your employees a secure way of working, which in turn would get reflected in higher levels of productivity.

Cellular or satellite based communication hardware is required to alert emergency contacts when working alone in remote areas. Typical 900Mhz and other radio communication protocols do not provide sufficient signal range to radio alerts in these man-down applications. For these applications an integrated system between a man-down system and a capable fleet tracking system offers the best economical solution. The cellular/satellite radio capability of the fleet tracking system offers a means of communication for a man down system to communicate an alert on emergencies. The fleet tracking system also offers the additional capability of knowing where to dispatch emergency response.

Working with Oil & Gas, Mining and Forestry industries, Go Fleet offers an affordable and powerful integrated Man Down and GPS Tracking solution. To demo or learn more about the solution visit Fleet Tracking System.