From: Allen Niemi <anniemi**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Hydrogen
Date: Thu, 5 May 2016 09:22:55 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAN0bzO5KuD05epCSs-3az1O+Lotd3XH+1Zk4a=LfuskuYwf12g**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <9869372B-907C-4CD0-907C-906ACFC8668A**At_Symbol_Here**>

I think there are several signals that would indicate concern and should result in an escalating level of planning and review. My first signal would be volume of hydrogen involved including the source tank and any reaction and intermediary containers and piping systems. Escalating factors would include piping and reaction vessel pressures, flammable/explosive gas mixtures, and process variables. The use of any gas pressure vessel in research causes a red flag for me, regardless of the gas. Very few research scientists are conversant in pressure vessel design issues, particularly outside of mechanical and materials engineering departments. Most of us have probably been witness to burst glass reaction vessels on the order of half a liter, which can cause significant personal injury. I'd be concerned with explosive gas mixtures below that volume for sure -- considerably less concerned if it was in a latex balloon.


On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 7:43 AM, Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
> >In the US there has been considerable work done on H2 safety, currently NFPA 55 Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code chapter 10 addresses gaseous systems and Chapter 11 liquid systems.

I'm aware of many situations where research involving hydrogen gas is being conducted as part of cutting edge science and I wonder if the research planners understand how much engineering is involved in developed a safe and compliant system to support this use? It seems to me that much of this work is beyond the scope of the OSHA Lab Standard and that funding agencies should inquire about how oversight of the use of flammable gasses will be maintained.

Are there signals in a protocol (such as an amount used) that could be used to identify work that raises this concern?

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College


Allen Niemi, PhD
Occupational Safety and Health Services
Room 322 Lakeshore Center
Michigan Technological University
Phone: 906-487-2118
Fax: 906-487-3048

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.