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Preventing Tragedies in Confined Spaces with PPE, Air Testing and Gas Monitoring Equipment

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides personal protective equipment and a wide range of air testing services and monitoring instruments to identify occupational hazards.


In January, three construction workers lost their lives after entering a manhole and being overcome by noxious gases. The incident was reported by Miami’s WPLG and brings to light the hazards inherent in occupations where workers may enter a confined space.

According to reports about the tragic incident in Florida, it is believed that the workers succumbed to exposure to high levels of methane and hydrogen sulfide when they entered the manhole without gas monitoring equipment or the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Hydrogen sulfide is heavier than air and can collect in low-lying and enclosed, poorly-ventilated areas such as basements, manholes, sewer lines, underground telephone vaults and manure pits. For work within confined spaces or where the gas may collect, workers need to use the appropriate procedures to identify potential hazards, monitor air quality conditions and utilize PPE.

Methane in its gas form is an asphyxiant, which in high concentrations may displace a person’s oxygen supply, especially in confined spaces. Decreased oxygen can cause suffocation and loss of consciousness. It can also cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting and loss of coordination.

“Workers who may have to enter confined spaces need to be properly trained and equipped with the correct personal protective equipment and gas monitoring equipment to prevent tragedies like the event that recently occurred in Florida,” said Jody Thomason, Vice President of Products/Corporate Purchasing for EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we provide comprehensive air testing services and gas monitoring equipment to identify these types of hazards. We also offer a full range of respirators and other PPE that can be essential in protecting the health and safety of workers in many industries.”

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about hydrogen sulfide and exposure concerns that can be seen at:

For more information about air quality testing services, monitoring instruments and PPE supplies, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 protective equipment
 air testing
 gas monitoring
 hydrogen sulfide

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