Preventing Hazardous Gas Exposure
Abnormal gas concentrations in the air bring danger to workplaces and worksites. Unfortunately, some gases don’t have a smell, and therefore, their presence can go undetected. OSHA’s requirements for the implementation of gas monitoring equipment warns workers, prevents illness, protects property, and saves lives.
When the sensor inside of a gas monitor detects a certain chemical above a pre-set level, it alerts the user, generally via a loud audible alarm, vibration, and a bright light. These alerts can prompt the worker to take actions such as shutting off a gas valve, turning on ventilation fans, or evacuating an area.
Safety personnel should choose gas detection equipment carefully. Some criteria to consider are: specific hazards and risks at the worksite, ease of use, maintenance, datalogging capabilities, and training and support from the manufacturer.
Not only is detecting the gases important, but measuring worker exposure to gases and looking at alarm incident history is also critical to maintain safety. The data provided by air monitors can show bump testing frequency, time of an event, gas concentrations, trends, and more. Taking the time to analyze data gives a safety manager indication if there’s a growing problem and shows where improvements can be made. Patterns in alarm data can also identify risks to productivity and alert a manager to arrange for additional worker training. This leads to better health and safety, and reduced downtime.