Getting the right gas detector for the job
23 January 2013
Working in confined spaces is difficult at the best of times so the last thing a worker needs to worry about is their gas detector.Louise Early discusses some factors to consider during the selection process While the
While the best advice is, if at all possible, to avoid entering confined spaces, this is not always an option. In some industries there will always be occasions when workers or emergency services personnel need to enter potentially dangerous areas to carry out inspections, routine maintenance, perform emergency repairs or effect rescues.
There is a wide range of equipment required for CSE environments and the supply industry is well developed, with a plethora of PPE and safety equipment available. The one area of CSE where improvement is needed and where compromises have, to date, always had to be made, is gas detection.
Users of gas detectors have typically had to make a choice between large pumped units, small diffusion models, or models with 'parasitic' pumps, which can be easily lost or damaged. Handheld detectors that measure a wider range of gases tend to have front-mount displays and are usually optimised for leak location or 'hot work' permit issue, rather than being suitable for CSE work.
For this reason Crowcon has done extensive market research among users and fleet managers around the globe into what the requirements of the 'ideal' CSE gas detector are and found the following five features to be essential: Simple to use Bright, easy to read display.
Long battery life Robust construction Reliable detection With this feedback in mind, Crowcon went back to the drawing board. The result is Gas-Pro, a design suited for CSE applications to comply with hazardous area and health and safety standards.
Features of the new Gas-Pro include: It is compact and comparable in size to leading front-mount diffusion detectors It is designed so as not to get in the way of other PPE and accessories and not interfere with a worker's primary activity It has a clear top-mount display that can be read at a glance without having to even touch the detector. A dual colour backlight adds an extra level of alert should the Gas-Pro enter alarm status.
An internal pump means that pre-entry testing can be done quickly and easily +ve Safety - The status of detectors is becoming more and more important to fleet managers. Health and safety executives around the world (OSHA, HSE, Safework Australia, to name but a few) are introducing and making more stringent the guidelines and regulations released to ensure worker safety. The Gas-Pro, +ve Safety provides tri-colour status indication, giving quick and effective monitoring of gas test (bump), calibration, over range and recent alarm notification. Not only is +ve Safety flexible enough to meet individual company regulations, but the indication light is visible to all, offering the fleet manager a quick, simple, yet comprehensive visible indication of monitor status, unlike standard bump test indications or confidence flashes Multiple gas sensors for up to five potentially hazardous gases from an extremely wide range including, hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen and flammable gases, as well as industry-specific gases such as ozone, ammonia, chlorine, chlorine dioxide and sulphur dioxide By selecting the most suitable gas detector, personnel entering confined spaces can be free from worries about what risks might come with compromise and be more focussed on their core activities, safe in the knowledge that their gas detector is focused on its core activity.
Louise Early is the safety portables product manager for Crowcon Detection Instruments.