Danger is a concept we face every day, both at work and in our personal lives. As adults, we encounter the dangers of toxic gases. But once discovered, it’s imperative that we learn quickly. We can also observe areas or activities, and through education, training, and detection solutions, can see if any potential danger exists in working environments. However, there can be hidden dangers that can lead to catastrophic consequences. Just because our senses may not see, smell, feel or hear dangers in regards to gas leaks, does not mean it is not there.
Without assistance from technology, some gases would be undetectable to humans, which understandably presents major health risks. An estimated 400 people die in the US every year, with thousands more having to go to the hospital due to poisoning from carbon monoxide gas. As this gas has no taste or smell and cannot be seen, exposure can lead to death through asphyxiation while people are unconscious.
Other gases are extremely flammable, leading to fires and/or explosions, a particularly severe risk when performing hot works (such as welding or grinding.) Some gases are heavier than air, which collect in low-lying areas such as trenches, pits and wells. This is a risk as often they can go undetected, through improperly testing for the gas, or simply not realizing it is there. Even gases that are critical to our survival can be detrimental if they are present in the wrong quantity, oxygen for example.
By performing gas testing and using gas monitoring systems dependent on the exact circumstances of the work, workers may only need to perform an initial test to see if gas is present. Several tests may be required for several different types of gas. Gas levels can fluctuate randomly between harmless and dangerous levels, requiring the need to track measurements like LELs, UELs, TWAs, and PELs. Companies should be able to develop gas testing and monitoring procedures through suitable and sufficient risk assessment(s) for particular tasks or work performed.
Gas testing and monitoring do not have to be a complex operation, but it is crucial to perform correctly to stay safe when working with and in environments containing gases. As always, risk assessments of your workplace and tasks involve looking specifically for gas-related hazards. This will then arm the company with key information in developing an approach to dealing with the identified hazards. Providing information, instruction and training to everyone who may be potentially affected by a gas leak is also beneficial. Most importantly, always have emergency arrangements ready to go to mitigate circumstances, should the worst occur.
Gastronics, Inc. began in 1997 developing combustible and toxic gas monitors and licensed radio telemetry systems for industry. With over 20 years of experience, our experts provide companies gas detection and telemetry solutions fitting all their needs. We assist our customers by finding potential hazardous conditions and offering reliable solutions to ensure all personnel are safe.
To learn more about the products we offer or for specific solutions in your industry, click here. If you have any questions regarding your gas detection needs or would like to speak with one of our specialists, contact us today!