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Connected Safety for Steelworkers.



Steel is versatile and is widely used in various industries from construction and infrastructure to transportation, appliances, and machinery. It's manufactured through a process called steelmaking, which involves melting iron and adding small amounts of carbon and other elements to create a material with specific properties. This is completed by either the Basic Oxygen Furnace route or the more modern - Electric Arc Furnace method. 

The many processes involved in steelmaking can generate toxic and combustible gases, which pose a risk to worker safety— some of these include:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced during the blast furnace process which involves the reduction of iron ore with carbon-based fuel. With the potential presence of H2 (e.g. in Flash Ironmaking Technology process), hydrogen-resistant CO sensors should be used.
  • Carbon is driven off as carbon dioxide (CO2) when pure oxygen is delivered to pig iron to leave crude steel.
  • Combustibles such as hydrogen (H2) produced when water reacts with hot metal. Another is methane (CH4) which is created during the coking process.
  • Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is created during the decomposition of sulfur-containing compounds.
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is produced when sulfur-containing materials are heated.
  • VOCs, such as benzene, are a byproduct during coke production.

Employers should ensure appropriate ventilation systems, gas detection systems, personal protective equipment, and safe handling procedures are all followed.



Blackline has a solution to mitigate risks for steel workers that begins with connected wearable gas detectors to help protect them from potentially deadly gas exposures. These devices also offer critical lone-worker capabilities, such as fall and no-motion detection, missed check-in alarms, and an SOS latch for immediate assistance. The second level adds additional protection for the safety of your entire operations, keeping teams aware of potential dangers in real-time when they arise. Together these connected gas detection solutions help to ensure your team's safety until the end of their day at the steel mill.

Lone Worker Safety Personal Gas Detection Area Monitoring
G7c-lone-worker-front2 g7c-multigas-g7x-single-gas-detector

G7 EXO area monitor

Lone workers such as electricians, welders, quality inspectors, and plant operators, all work independently within steelmaking processes and may require immediate assistance in case an incident occurs. 


With various gas hazards in the steelmaking industry and the requirement for confined space entries, workers need a connected safety solution like a G7 to ensure they are always safe. 


When it comes to monitoring the air quality in steel plants, no other product compares to the G7 EXO which deploys in minutes, delivering reliable connectivity for 100+ days, even in the harshest conditions. 


Steel Manufacturing Toxic and Combustible Gas Hazards

  • Main gas hazards
  • CO is generated during the smelting process, where heat and chemical agents decompose the ore leaving the metal behind. The risky areas include blast furnaces, coke ovens, and boiler rooms.
  • During the breakdown of organic materials of steel production, CH4 can be generated. 
  • H2S is generated during steel production through the decomposition of sulfur-containing compounds. It can also be a toxic gas hazard near coke oven batteries. Hydrogen sulfide poses a fire and explosion risk. 
  • SO2 is often generated during the combustion of sulfur-containing fuels, such as coal and coke, in blast furnace slag pits. To minimize SO2 hazards, steel plants should use low-sulfur fuels.
  • High-temperature operations such as melting and refining steel produce nitrous oxides. Steel plants should install equipment, such as low-NOx burners and selective catalytic reduction systems, that reduce the formation to control NOx exposures.
  • Steel plants can minimize most of these combustible and gas hazards by implementing proper ventilation systems, gas detection equipment, and fire suppression systems, and regularly maintaining their equipment.
  • Many steel-related tasks involve working in and around confined spaces, such as tanks, vessels, furnaces, and pipes. Employers need to ensure training, ventilation, monitoring, PPE, and an emergency rescue plan to prevent CSE risks. Blackline's G7 Multi-Gas Pump can be used for pre-entry or continuous monitoring to minimize the risks involved in confined spaces.
  • Coke oven gases include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane to name a few, all of which can create hazardous atmospheres for steelworkers.
  • Oxygen depletion can be a risk in various stages of steel manufacturing due to displacement by other gases. 

A Bulgarian iron and steel plant had an incident with a blast furnace that was releasing high levels of carbon monoxide. The tragedy involved the death of 3 people and 22 more were hospitalized.

(Eurofound, 2004)

Steel Manufacturing Lone Worker Risks

  • Iron and steelworkers have the sixth most dangerous job in the U.S. according to ISHN (2020). Falling is the most common risk steel and ironworkers face, with tasks like climbing large structures, unloading iron and steel, and also when using equipment to cut, bend, and weld materials. If a steelworker wearing a G7 falls, an alarm will be triggered for monitoring personnel to check on their wellbeing.
  • Operating heavy machinery contributes to many accidents in a steel mill when equipment and safety mechanisms fail. If an equipment operator is stuck in a compromised situation, they (or a fellow steelworker) can pull the G7's emergency SOS latch for assistance, alternatively, a person-down event will automatically be triggered when a person is motionless.
  • Noisy environments in steel mills can cause permanent hearing loss, contribute to more accidents, and make calling for help difficult. The lone worker safety features of a G7 allow steelworkers to request help when audible calls for help will go unheard.
  • The heavy lifting of materials may cause back, neck, shoulder, and knee injuries if precautions aren't followed. The pull of a SOS latch can alert monitoring personnel of a factory worker needing assistance.
  • Explosion and burn hazards are especially high in a steel mill near the coke oven byproduct plant, which is similar to oil refineries. Splatters, spills, or slag from molten matter are other sources that can cause fire or burns.
  • Extreme radiant heat in locations with hot and molten materials. Workers should be cautious of their limits and be aware of heat stroke and heat stress symptoms, IHSA provides an overview of health and safety risks at steel mills.

The connectivity and software to further protect your team.

Blackline’s connected safety and robust software offering provide the steel manufacturing industry with solutions that offer ultimate protection from worksite hazards and help you run a more efficient operation.

Next-level safety – The Blackline Live online portal allows you to manage your G7 connected safety devices, monitor your facility and your workforce’s well-being in real-time, respond to emergencies and report on collected data. Simple compliance is no longer good enough.

Unmatched visibility – Blackline Analytics provides a complete view of your connected safety fleet’s compliance, usage and alert data in a single, easy-to-use tool. Analyze real-time and historical data to anticipate potentially dangerous situations and prevent incidents from happening.

Enhanced productivity – Connected devices deliver data that can uncover opportunities to increase operational efficiency, offering the potential to save millions in lost revenue.

Optimized responses – Comprehensive safety monitoring and mass notifications give you complete and swift control of evacuation and emergency management.

Always at the ready – Blackline’s in-house Safety Operations Center is staffed 24/7 with professionally trained monitoring agents focused exclusively on ensuring the safety of your people.

The connected devices you need for unparalleled safety.

With Blackline’s comprehensive suite of safety devices, you get a complete ecosystem that leaves no aspect of worker or worksite safety to chance. Whether you need personal safety monitoring, gas detection or area monitoring, every G7 solution offers turn-key connectivity and versatility.

Trustworthy protection – Poison-immune combustible gas monitoring with broad spectrum LEL detection

Efficient execution – Connect in minutes wherever the device is placed or worn

Built for extremes – Face tough and rugged conditions, on any worksite, anywhere in the world

Ready and reliable – The G7 EXO’s100+ days of battery life allows devices to remain in operation longer, reducing the manpower needed to swap batteries or devices and the number of permits required

Direct-to-Cloud connectivity – Industry-leading cellular and optional satellite connectivity for remote areas (e.g. bring the magnetic satellite bridge with you from your truck to your ATV), streaming all data directly to the cloud

Low cost of ownership – G7 EXO’s extra-long battery life eliminates the need to purchase extra monitors, saving tens of thousands of dollars. And with connected wearables, you can easily locate a lost device

Immediate Awareness - Text and email alerts keep you fully aware of device status and active situations

No nonsense – Eliminate the need for LEL correction factors, minimizing unnecessary and costly evacuations from false readings

Maximum flexibility – Thousands of gas detection configurations available in single-gas to five-gas detectors with or without a pump

Uncompromised safety – Extensive person down safety features such as fall detection, missed check-in alarms, an S.O.S. latch to call for immediate assistance and no-motion detection, two-way communications and push-to-talk functionality.



Leveraging data to create a proactive and efficient safety program

Connected gas detection isn’t the tech of the future anymore. It’s right here, right
now, and more money-saving, sustainable and simple than you think.




Evacuation management is a necessary element of safety planning for oil and gas operations. It is critical to be prepared to quickly and safely evacuate personnel in the event of an emergency, as every second counts when lives are on the line.



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