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Gas Detection in the Workplace

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hes jan 19 8Gas Detection in the Workplace

Many places of work in the manufacturing and engineering sector have a need to detect and monitor gas levels in the air. Gases can present a danger due to flammability, toxicity or asphyxiation. If you’re not sure if you should be doing more to monitor your workplace, below is a useful overview of the latest methods used for a variety of applications. ATEX models are available for every application if required.

For expert advice, consult an occupational hygienist (Read More)

or a manufacturer-trained supplier, who will assess your workplace and provide advice regarding your requirements.

Personal Gas Detection

Individual employees might be exposed to a variety of potentially dangerous gases or a known specific gas at some point during their working day, if not all of it. These members of staff should be provided with a personal gas monitor which can be set to identify, monitor and measure between one and six gases simultaneously, depending on the specific environment.

Single- and multi-gas detectors are relatively inexpensive and are often disposable, which means once activated they remain on 24/7 and are replaced on battery expiry. They have ‘days left’ battery indicators built in to their screens and the alarm levels for specific gases can be set individually according to the latest legislation and guidelines.

‘Always on’ monitors are also ideal for multi-shift workplaces, as they can be handed from one employee to the next at the changeover point, effectively halving the number of monitors required in a fleet.

Portable Detection

Handheld and portable detection devices are ideal for walking surveys or site work where specific areas need to be monitored quickly and easily. With the added option of photo ionisation detectors (PIDs) to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs), you can measure and monitor over 480 VOCs and toxic compounds in any environmental conditions with confidence, right down to levels of 1ppb (one part per billion).

The latest models are accurate and fast – just two seconds response time - with exceptional resistance to humidity and contamination, so are suitable even in the harshest conditions. Users also benefit from a battery life of up to 24 hours

Area Detection

The detection of gases within an outdoor area can be achieved by setting up a network of portable devices which can be networked together to form a perimeter or boundary monitoring system. Or for a permanent indoor solution, installation of a fixed gas detection system.

These systems can be configured to detect, monitor and measure several gases simultaneously – including oxygen depletion indoors - and are widely used across manufacturing and engineering processes. 24/7 protection is achieved through constant monitoring and alarm settings, which, if triggered, set off audible and visible alarms at the site as well as instantly notifying remote response teams as required.  
Bump Testing

The single most important piece of advice for gas detection, as agreed by the BSIF Special Interest group for Measurement and Instrumentation, of which Shawcity’s MD Neil O’Regan is Chair, is to regularly ‘bump test’ your gas detection monitors.

For personal and handheld monitors that means passing a small amount of gas over your monitor sensor/s before each and every use. The ‘bump test’ is in addition to servicing and calibration (which are your annual checks, similar to services and MOTs on cars) and is a simple function test to make sure your monitor and the sensors within it are working as they should before it is deployed.

As with any device, performance can become compromised due to knocks, damage, sensor contamination and so on. Bump testing is easy and literally takes seconds and has gas detectors are usually deployed for life-critical situations, it should be a top priority. Further details on how to perform bump tests can be obtained from the manufacturer or your supplier.

If you would like further information or advice on how Shawcity could help your business, contact us on: 01367 899419, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.shawcity.co.uk.