OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 37 Oil and Gas Wells

Section 752 Breathing equipment

Subsection 752(1)

Oil and gas exploration is considered high hazard work. The possibility of encountering flammable atmospheres, hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulphide, and immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) situations is present when work is done at the well site. Since well conditions can change rapidly, emergency self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) must be present when drilling, servicing, flushby, snubbing, swabbing, workover or other units are used at the well site.

The intent of this section is to ensure that there is enough breathing equipment available to workers at oil and gas well sites in an emergency and when a rescue operation needs to be performed. The number of breathing apparatus required must be linked to the number of workers that may potentially be affected. This should be determined by completing the hazard assessment required by Part 2, and meeting the requirements of Part 7 and section 244. As well, the employer must ensure that workers required to use this equipment are fit tested and have training to use it properly. Sections 244 to 254 of the OHS Code present the requirements that apply to the use of respiratory protective equipment at the work site.

Subsection 752(2)

In cases where there is only one worker at the work site, an employer may use alternate measures to protect the worker such as a remotely operated system. The alternate measure used must ensure that the worker is not exposed to a harmful substance in excess of its occupational exposure limit.