Occupational Health Hazards Of Propane


What is Propane?

Propane is a gas normally compressed and stored as a liquid. It is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless; an identifying odor is added so it can be detected. It is also known as liquified petroleum gas (link to liquified petroleum gas page) or LPG. Propane is commonly used for heating, cooking, and fuel. Its applications are rapidly growing due to new technology developments. Propane is considered a clean fuel. 

Why Is Propane Harmful?

Propane is an asphyxiant, meaning very high concentrations of the gas can cause suffocation. Exposure to high concentrations can also cause cardiac arrest, unconsciousness, or seizures. Sustained contact with the skin can cause frostbite. It is an extremely flammable gas. It is stored under pressure as a gas and can explode if heated. It can be a confined space hazard as it is an asphyxiant gas and accumulates in low lying areas. 

How Does Propane Harm Your Body?

In high concentrations propane displaces oxygen and is an asphyxiant gas. It causes suffocation if allowed to accumulate to concentrations that reduce oxygen below safe breathing levels. Breathing of high concentrations may cause dizziness, light-headedness, headache, nausea, and loss of coordination. Continued inhalation may result in unconsciousness. Asphyxiation may bring about unconsciousness without warning and so rapidly that the victim may be unable to protect themself. 

Exposure to rapidly expanding gas or vaporizing liquid may cause frostbite ("cold burn"). 

Who Needs To Be Concerned About Propane Hazards in the Workplace?

Propane is used to fuel business. It is considered a safe, low cost, and environmentally friendly fuel for heat, and power. Propane is well suited for power generation, forklifts, vehicles, cooking and heating. 

How to Prevent Occupational Propane Exposure? 

If your workplace frequently comes into contact with propane, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with chemical labels and safety data sheets. Contact Chemscape today to learn how we can help you improve the occupational health standards of your company. 

 

Elevate the level of occupational health standards for your company.