Gas Detection in Confined Spaces
Gas Detection in Confined Spaces
Confined spaces present risks that workers must be prepared to handle. Despite regulations and technological advances, accidents and deaths caused in confined spaces remain a problem.
In fact, an average of two people die every week due to a confined space incident. Of all deaths in confined spaces, 60% are people who die while trying to save a companion.
To minimize this type of risk, you need to establish a complete confined space entry plan and have the correct gas detectors, depending on your needs.
In this blog post, we will cover best practices for gas detection in confined spaces. Use these methods as a reference and develop a plan in accordance with your company's security policies to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone.
First of All, What’s a Confined Space?
Confined spaces are areas that have limited or restricted access to enter or exit. They are usually not designed to be continuously occupied by employees.
Also, there are confined spaces that require use permits and have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contain or have the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere.
- They contain a material that has the potential to suffocate a person.
- It has an internal configuration where a person can be trapped or suffocated by walls converging inward or by a floor that slopes downward.
- Contains any other risk to the safety or health of a person.
Confined spaces are common in many industries, some are: storage tanks, sewers, boilers, pipelines, truck and train cars, wells, underground storage areas, among others.
Know Your Risks
Knowing the risks of gas exposure in your workplace will be the basis for effective gas detection.
The most common risks in confined spaces are:
- Oxygen deficiency
- Oxygen enrichment
- Combustible gasses
- Toxic gasses
Knowing the most common risks in your work area will help you identify which gas detectors you will need to be better prepared for any incident.
Also, it is important to integrate each member of your work team so that they know the risks they face and how to detect them. At a minimum, you will need to develop a safety plan that should include details about what equipment should be used to detect atmospheric hazards, when atmosphere monitoring should be performed, and the order in which risks should be evaluated.
Once you establish a plan on how to detect gas hazards in confined spaces, you need to train operators. A NIOSH study revealed that 85% of confined space deaths were people who had not been trained.
Training should not only cover the procedures that people need to follow, but also how to use gas detectors correctly and how to interpret the readings.
Consider providing proper gas detector training so they understand how the sensors work, how to take readings, and how to respond to different alarms. These training sessions should be repeated periodically to keep the team informed and prepared.
Personal Use Gas Monitors
Gas monitors are an essential tool to prevent accidents and protect your team from the risks of exposure to toxic gasses. Before each use of the monitors, a functional test must be performed and they must be set to zero. Calibrations should be performed monthly or when your monitor may have been exposed to sensor inhibitors.
We recommend you some sensors that we have available to keep your team safe:
Ventis Pro5 Multi-Gas Monitor
The Ventis Pro5 multigas monitor offers flexible sensor options to detect up to five gasses. It has a man down alarm system, panic button, custom alarm action messages and LENS® Wireless inter-monitor connectivity. It is compatible with the Ventis® Slide-On Pump for pre-entry sampling. Some optional connectivity features include a Wi-Fi battery, cellular battery, or dual cellular/satellite connectivity through the TGXTM Gateway.
Ventis MX4 Multi-Gas Monitor
The Ventis MX4 is a compact four-gas monitor and the size of a single gas monitor. Designed to be extremely rugged, yet lightweight and easy to use, the Ventis MX4 offers highly reliable gas detection. It is compatible with the Ventis® Slide-on Pump for pre-entry sampling.
MX6 iBrid Six-Gas Monitor
The MX6 iBrid® is a six-gas monitor that offers hundreds of possible sensor combinations and a robust list of configuration settings. The MX6 iBrid provides advanced gas detection for sampling and permitting tasks; essential for industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals and metal production.
Once you determine the right gas monitor for your organization, consider its maintenance to detect any risks efficiently and effectively. At Paladius, we can help you identify the ideal monitor for your needs and provide maintenance for your equipment. Contact our sales department for more information: (787) 786-1555 / firstname.lastname@example.org