Gas detection systems save lives. When it comes right down to it, that’s the most obvious, and the most important, thing. But portable gas detection systems in particular can’t protect your staff effectively if they’re not being used properly. And let’s be honest, it can be pretty easy for bad habits to develop, even amongst experienced employees. Collecting gas detection data can be invaluable in helping you to discourage those bad habits – as well as allowing you to enhance safety in your premises in a number of other ways besides. Here are some of the most important!
Encourage adherence to proper protocol
Fixed gas alarms and their portable counterparts are finely-engineered systems designed with one key aim in mind – to preserve human life. Despite this, some employees have an unfortunate tendency to turn them off, especially if they’re personally confident that there’s little to no danger. (If the gas alarms themselves aren’t regularly maintained, some can also become prone to sounding false alarms, which doesn’t help any!)
The trouble with this, obviously, is that it only takes a single misjudgement, or moment of carelessness, to result in a loss of life. This is where data can come in handy, as it can show you if there’s a pattern of ignoring alarms developing across your staff. If you spot that this is happening, it’s definitely worth following up on it; staff should always be notifying a safety manager when they shut off any alarms, so that the incident can be investigated with the diligence that it warrants.
And of course, the data can help you determine the all-important difference between simple negligence or carelessness, and a genuinely faulty device.
Collecting and consulting data also enables you to generate reports detailing the time and regularity of bump tests and calibrations, so that you can easily track and document your compliance to relevant legislation and regulations. It’s especially helpful for anticipating upcoming key dates in your maintenance calendar, so you can be sure there’s no excuse for missing out on bump tests or calibrations.
As an extra bonus, it’s also useful for identifying instances in which a portable gas detector has been used without bump testing it first, so that you can not only track compliance, but enforce it where necessary too – ensuring the safety of both you and your staff.
While the ultimate goal is obviously to prevent any instances of exposure altogether, gas detection data can also be invaluable in those rare unfortunate instances when an exposure does occur. In the immediate aftermath of an exposure, you can find out exactly where and when your gas detection alarms were triggered, as well as the gas type, concentration, and duration.
Depending on the depth and detail of the data at your disposal, you may also be able to find out exactly whose portable gas detection alarm went off, which makes it easier to follow up with specific employees who may have been exposed to toxic gas, and monitor their health for any warning signs. That’s often far easier than making decisions based on hearsay, and second-guessing anyone who may have actually been on-site at the time.
Anticipate, prevent, and protect
Once you’ve established a procedure for regular checks of your gas detection data, you’ve got a much greater chance of successfully identifying any important gas detection trends which may develop over time. That can be immensely helpful in turning your safety strategy from being partially reactive into one that’s fully preventative, narrowing your focus to common problem sites (or sadly, sometimes people!) and taking appropriate measures to counteract any future leaks.
In other words, you can have peace of mind that you’re actually tackling the root of the problem, allowing you to respond in a much faster and more flexible manner when any problem does arise.
These are just a few of the core benefits – you may well be able to find some of your own! Before you start collecting this data though, you’ll need to ensure that your premises (and your team) are fully equipped with the right gas detection equipment, whether they’re fixed gas detection systems or portable gas detectors. We provide them all right here at Gas Alarms Systems – you can explore them right here on our website, or if you have any questions or need any advice, by all means call us on 01423 862240, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help.