When working with any energy source, it is important to have general guidelines to ensure the safety of workers and those in the work area. Working with natural gas is no exception.
What is Natural Gas?
Natural gas is a colourless and odourless gas in its naturally occurring state. The fossil fuel is composed primarily of methane, but also includes small amounts of other gases (including ethane, propane, butane, and pentane).
Natural gas is used to produce electricity and heat residential and commercial structures.
General Safety Tips
Take the following safety tips into consideration prior to working with natural gas:
- Ensure that those who are working with natural gas are qualified and trained to safely do so
- Call before you dig- get the appropriate utility locates prior to digging to avoid damaging natural gas lines
- Never use equipment that is damaged or worn. Always inspect equipment prior to use.
- Know the signs associated with a natural gas leak: including the smell of rotten eggs (natural gas is odourless. To make it detectable, distributors often add mercaptan to give the gas a distinct smell)
- Have a well-communicated emergency response plan in place
- Ensure that all workers are aware of the plan and the appropriate actions to take, in the event of an emergency
- Ensure that emergency numbers related to natural gas, including utility companies and emergency services, are posted