In September 2021, the CGA Board of Directors approved a significantly expanded investment in hydrogen safety communications and outreach for the next year, to further establish the CGA as a leading authority on hydrogen safety issues.
As interest in hydrogen energy grows as part of decarbonisation plans, it is critical that it’s produced, transported, and used safely. CGA members have been doing this for many years – in fact, the CGA produced its first safety standard for hydrogen in 1955.
CGA’s hydrogen safety communications efforts will focus initially on key audiences within the hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) sector, including practitioners (fuelling station designers, operators, and consultants, for example), federal and state regulatory and legislative authorities, hydrogen and FCEV trade associations, other standards developing organisations, and targeted members of the general public.
We will also continue to explore opportunities to collaborate with like-minded groups in the hydrogen space, such as the reciprocal memberships already established between the CGA and the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) and the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). At the same time, we’ll evaluate opportunities to attend and speak at hydrogen events to bring a focus to safety as a critical element to the growth of the hydrogen sector.
Continued Covid-19 industry response
Throughout the past two years, our association has worked to address the shifting pressures created by the Covid-19 pandemic, including collaborating with our members to support the continued availability of medical oxygen, representing the industry in discussions with government agencies in the US and Canada, and working with members to understand and share best practices for protecting employees. These efforts will continue as needed in 2022.
As a recent example, in late October, the CGA’s Board of Directors Chair, Chris Ebeling, and I met with White House representatives to express concerns about the unintended consequences of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is vaccinated against Covid-19 or provide a weekly negative test result if not vaccinated. We continue to advocate along with other industry groups for an exemption from the vaccination requirement for compressed gas industry truck drivers. Such a requirement could aggravate an already stressed supply chain for critical medical gases. Many of these drivers are secluded in their truck cabs most of the time, and make deliveries to customers that involve minimal contact.
In 2022, we will continue expanding our library of free safety resources to provide new industry employees and end-users with the information they need to safely interact with our members’ products.
This year, we published new end-user safety posters and related online product information – including for those in the cannabis industry – on carbon dioxide; cylinder and equipment; flammable gas; and refrigerated and cryogenic liquid safety. We also published a new poster on precautions for liquid nitrogen use in cryogenic therapies. To download these free safety posters, visit https://www.cganet.com/resources/safety-posters/.
Evolving events in 2022
CGA staff are developing another full calendar of virtual, in-person, and hybrid events for 2022.
In August 2021, we partnered with the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) to co-host the return of the Young and Emerging Professionals Summit – a series of eight online events that drew industry participants from around the globe. We also offered a successful hybrid version of the long-running CGA Safety & Reliability of Industrial Gases, Equipment, and Facilities Seminar, as well as the all-virtual CGA Cylinder Requalification Operations Safety Seminar. All three events will be offered again in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming attendees back to in-person formats.
In 2022, we will continue efforts to transition the CGA Handbook of Compressed Gases from a traditional textbook to an interactive online tool.
Our committee members are actively working on text updates for the Handbook chapters and gas monographs to ensure technical accuracy and realign the content for digital consumption.