Reduced Oxygen Atmospheres. The management of risk associated with reduced Oxygen atmospheres resulting from the use of gases in the workplace.
BCGA Guidance Note 11 provides guidance that can be used in the assessment of risk associated with the use of gases in the workplace, on appropriate control measures to be considered at any workplace where gases are commercially produced, stored or used and, to identify where reduced oxygen atmospheres could occur.
BCGA Guidance Note 11 document is not intended to provide guidance on the control of work in areas defined as “confined spaces”, including hypoxic air environments. Accidents due to reduced oxygen atmospheres occur unexpectedly and the reactions of people in the workplace may be incorrect.
Furthermore, when such an accident does occur, it is always serious, and sometimes fatal. This document does not consider in detail other gas properties such as flammability, toxicity, etc, which are referenced where appropriate to draw attention to the possibility that these properties may present a greater danger than oxygen depletion. However, it should be noted that all gases, other than oxygen or air, may result in asphyxiation. Other hazards associated with the use of the gases, such as pressure, manual handling, storage etc. are not discussed in this document.