Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) exposure - Lost time incident

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Alert ID: 
Description of Process: 

Sampling storage tanks of ballast water.

Description of Incident: 

An operator had to leave work after feeling unwell. He went to hospital where he was diagnosed with pulmonary oedema (fluid on the lung).  The operator has since returned to work and is expected to make a full recovery.

The operators symptoms have been linked with exposure to hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which happened whilst sampling three storage tanks of ballast water, two days before he reported unwell. The ballast water had been standing in the tanks for several weeks after being recieved by ship. The samples that he took from the tanks were confirmed as containing significant concentrations of H2S.

Good Practice Guidance: 

Please refer to the full Safety Alert attached from Process Safety Forum

Causes and consequences of incident or accident: 
Release of a harmful substance
Failure of PPE/RPE
Contributing factor: 
Control of work