Many workers have to wear portable gas detection equipment to ensure their safety from harmful gases and vapours. In many of these instances, workers are also required to wear safety clothing, personal protective equipment and respiratory protective equipment and knowing where to place your gas detector amongst all of this PPE and RPE is important. Here we explain why and how you can ensure you are working as safely as possible.
You pick up your safety goggles and instantly know where to put them. The same with your hard hat. I mean its obvious that one is for your eyes and the other is to protect your head. But what about your gas detector? It’s not obvious where it goes so maybe the best thing to do is put it somewhere convenient and easy to reach like a pocket or attached to your belt? Wrong! Think about what your gas detector is there to do – save you from exposure to harmful gases – and then think about how these gases enter your body to create the harmful effect. Answer – your mouth and your nose. So wearing your detector on your belt is not going to help you asses the gases in your breathing zone.
It is wrong to think that just having a gas detector anywhere on your body or in your workspace is adequate enough because surely it’s job is to alert you to potential gas hazards in your working area. All gases behave and react differently. Gases such as nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide are lighter than air and tend to accumulate at higher levels and some gases are heavier than air such as hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide and therefore accumulate at lower levels. Ultimately your goal is to prevent gas from being inhaled and causing injury, illness, loss of consciousness and potentially death.
The only sensible place to wear your detector is in your breathing zone which means as close to your face as possible. Not only is this going to help keep you safe, think about all the other PPE or RPE you may be wearing. Your gas detector has both an alarm warning and a display warning. If you have to wear ear defenders how can you hear your alarm? The display will tell you. GFG gas detector displays have a green, amber, red warning system that is easy to see plus a unique coloured band which changes colour in sync with the display designed specifically to be picked up every time by your peripheral vision even in the noisiest / harshest of working environments. Wear your gas detector on your chest and a simple glance down will tell you if you are in danger. Similarly, RPE and eye protection can prevent you from being able to see your monitor clearly so an audible alarm that is close to your head can be heard easily, even in a noisy environment.
Next time you put your PPE on before work, just take a few minutes to think about what your gas detector is there to protect you from – inhaling deadly gases through your mouth and nose – and wear your detector in the breathing zone where it is easy to see and hear. And most importantly, just like you would clean your goggles or adjust your hard hat so they are working to protect you, Bump Test your gas detector. It costs pence, takes seconds and saves lives!