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Getting Gas Detection Right

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hes mar april 19 6Getting Gas Detection Right

by Peter Sherfield, Product Specialist Manager, Shawcity Ltd

Many workplaces have a need to monitor the air where gases can present an immediate or longer-term danger due to flammability, toxicity or asphyxiation. Explosive atmospheres caused by flammable gases, mists, vapours or combustible dusts should be monitored using ATEX-standard equipment. (Read More)


For expert advice, consult an occupational hygienist (BOHS member), manufacturer or a manufacturer-trained supplier such as Shawcity, who will assess your workplace and provide specific advice. Always look for professional credentials and industry memberships, consider the experience and longevity of the organisation and ask your peers for recommendations. Single manufacturers will only offer you their product range, so explore different technologies and consider a range of options.

Aim to work with manufacturers and suppliers who will go further than simply selling you a product and will fully support you in your responsibilities to achieve ongoing compliance and effectively protect your workforce. Shawcity offers free training and specialist technical phone or site visit support to resolve any issues as part of your ongoing aftercare.

Shawcity will also support you with your instrument asset management. This is vital when it comes to managing your fleet, traceability of asset history, record-keeping, service and calibration records as well as long-term planning. As an ISO 9001 supplier, Shawcity has rigorous processes in place to provide a complete service. This is vital if, for example, an incident happens in the workplace and proof of instrument maintenance is required during the investigation.

Personal Gas Detection

Individual employees may be exposed to a variety of potentially dangerous gases or a known specific gas at some point during their working day. These staff should wear a personal gas monitor which identifies, monitors and measures one to six gases simultaneously.

Single- and multi-gas detectors are relatively inexpensive and the newest models are often disposable. Once activated they remain on 24/7 and are replaced on battery expiry. ‘Always on’ monitors are also ideal for multi-shift workplaces, as they can be passed from one employee to the next, effectively halving the number of monitors required in a fleet.

Portable Detection

Handheld and portable detection devices are ideal for walking surveys where specific areas need to be monitored quickly and easily. With the option of photoionisation detectors (PIDs) to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs), over 480 VOCs and toxic compounds can be detected right down to levels of 1ppb (one part per billion).

Area Detection

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

Shawcity offers manufacturer-trained technicians who will undertake on-site calibration and service visits. They are authorised by the manufacturer and fully insured to carry out site work.

Servicing, Calibration and Repairs

All gas detection instruments require servicing and calibration to ensure they are fit for purpose and in good working order. The most common recommendation is annually but check your instrument’s specific schedule.
Shawcity offers its customers a manufacturer-approved, fully insured in-house service centre and will send you service and calibration reminders. We have a fleet of hire instruments for you to ‘hot swap’ while yours are with us, ensuring no downtime and removing the need for spare instruments to keep your workforce fully protected.

Bump Testing

The most important action for gas detection instruments is to bump test them, as performance can become compromised due to knocks, damage, humidity or sensor contamination.
Bump testing means passing a small amount of test gas over your monitor sensors before each use. This is in addition to annual servicing and calibration 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.

Shawcity Ltd
Tel: 01367 899419
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