In this episode, we answer the following questions:
- Which type of propane leak is more dangerous: gas or liquid?
- Where should the new person on a hazmat team start learning?
- What are the correlations between LEL, UEL, and MEC?
- Which PPE should I use for a sulfuric acid spill?
Complete Show Notes
00:45 Question #1 – Which Type of Propane Leak is More Dangerous: Gas or Liquid?
- We often deal with gas leaks during the summer months when people start grilling – liquid leaks are less common
- For every gallon of liquid propane that leaks, it expands to 270 gallons of gaseous propane – this is a lot more than the 1:1 ratio of a gas leak in that same cylinder
- Remember that propane is heavy and seeks basements and low-lying areas of land – monitoring these areas is a must
- Try to minimize ignition sources as much as possible and use ventilation as soon as possible
2:25 Question #2 – Where Should The New Person on a Hazmat Team Start Learning?
- Focus on learning the location of the tools and where they are on the rig – focus on the ones you use most commonly, rather than the rare ones
- Learn how to use them in the position you’ll fill – remember that most teams won’t throw new people into the hardest positions right away
- Start to learn about meters and understand the reasons behind their reactions, too
- Remember that it usually takes at least 2 years before you feel like you can hold your own on a run
4:45 Question #3 – What are the Correlations Between LEL, UEL, and MEC?
- Lower explosive limit (LEL)
- Minimum amount of product in the air at a concentration that supports combustion
- Upper explosive limit (UEL)
- Maximum amount of product in the air at a concentration that supports combustion
- Minimum explosive concentration (MEC)
- Measures dust and particulates held in suspension in air – typically measured in milligrams per cubic meter
- Kind of like the solid version of LEL (which is only used for gasses)
6:30 Question #4 – Which PPE Should I Use for a Sulfuric Acid Spill?
- It depends on the specific situation, but your meter readings are the best indicators of the proper PPE in this scenario
- Use wet and dry pH strips to detect acid vapors in the air – if you see high concentrations of acid vapors, consider changing out of your bunker gear into a Level A
- If you’re not seeing any kind of vapors, you can wear a Level B – in most cases, we arrive after the leak has stopped
- If you feel any kind of burning on your skin, quickly change into a Level A – situations change, and we have to constantly be aware of our surroundings to keep ourselves safe
Have a question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on our Haz Mat Guys comment hotline: 843-628-1484
- THMG105: Propane Scenarios, Part II: Leaking Tank
- THMG097: Free Online Resources, Part I
- THMG039: PPE Selection Secrets, Part I