GAS MONITOR SAFETY
When working in confined spaces it is imperative to safely monitor the airspace you will be breathing. Using a kit like Honeywell’s BW GasAlertMax XT II Confined Space Kit can keep you safe in these situations. Gas monitor safety starts with knowing when, where and why. So read on to know when to wear one, what kind of monitor to wear and how to keep it working well.
WHY DO I NEED A GAS MONITOR?
What is that rotten egg smell? You have likely been near your air conditioner when it has exhausted some of the natural gas it uses to keep your house cool. This smell is artificially added to natural gas that is pumped into your home for safety reasons, hence the billboards that say “Smell Gas, Get Out Fast” then you should call 911. This is a great safety tool. Unfortunately when your crew is working at a construction site there may not be safety pumped in. That is where monitoring the air around you is crucial. Personal gas monitors like the Honeywell BW Clip4 let you know that the air you are working in is safe.
You wear a monitor when there is no way for air to get in or out. In these situations the area can fill with a heavier or lighter gas and deprive you of Oxygen. A typical figuration for a multi-gas meter is four sensors detecting the following:
- Carbon Monoxide
- Hydrogen Sulfide
- Combustibles or LEL (multiple combustible gasses like methane)
The monitor will have a range where the gasses are in compliance once any single sensor is out of compliance the alarm will sound.
Download our guide to gas detectors below and get the scoop on what monitor may be best for your company.
WHAT TYPES OF GAS MONITORS ARE THERE?
Gas monitors come in two varieties, fixed and portable. Fixed are spec’d in by engineers, portable come with the people.
Portable monitors are used in confined spaces, for spot leak testing and mobile use. Known for flexibility and convenience monitors are easy to use. Single and multi-gas styles are available and customizable. Four of the available sensors are listed above, other detectable gas sensors include: Sulfur Dioxide, Phosphine, Ammonia, Nitrogen Dioxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, and Chlorine Dioxide. Most multi-gas monitors can be configured to your specification.
Some portable monitors, like the XT II by Honeywell, come with a pump to test the air in the space before you enter.
WHO NEEDS TO WEAR GAS MONITORS?
Honeywell recommends that every person working within the space have a monitor on their person, located near the head of the wearer. Your safety director and competent person should determine what is best practice for your company and space. Outside of the construction industry, First Responders, Walk-in Refrigeration Technicians, Draft Beer Technicians, Take & Silo Cleaners, Farmers, HVAC Repair and any time air safety is a concern.
HOW TO INSPECT AND TEST YOUR GAS MONITOR SAFELY
GAS DETECTION SAFETY starts with the user. First, you will want to do a visual inspection to see if anything has gotten on the sensors or if it has been immersed in water or “other” substances. Second, turn it on. The monitor performs a self test and will let you know if something is amiss. Finally, and this is REALLY important, BUMP TEST the unit per the manufacturer’s directions. You do this by applying the appropriate gas to the sensors until the unit goes into alarm. Make sure all sensors are in alarm and you are good to go.
Now, you are ready to work!
WHAT MAKES MY PERSONAL GAS MONITOR GO INTO ALARM?
Alarm will go off if the gas level falls outside of an acceptable level. Below the min or above the max in the short term. It also will alarm if the level exceeds the long term limit when talking parts per minute for an extended amount of time, even if those limits are within the min-max range for the short term. Swing in for an in depth conversation with our experts anytime.
Lights and sounds indicate an issue. When the light blinks green and there’s no audible sound, all is well. Red lights and loud alarms mean get the heck out.
WHEN THE ALARM GOES OFF
Get out, now, like yesterday. Time is of the essence, and you need to get to a place with fresh air or find your emergency supplied air system. HAVE A PLAN. Gas monitor safety starts with a PLAN. You and your safety person should have a plan for every situation. If there’s no assigned safety person then you are it. Make sure there’s a plan for escape and/or rescue! HINT: 911 is not a rescue plan… Remember, an often forgotten component to gas detection safety is having a rescue plan, be sure the team you are working with knows yours.
SAFELY CLEANING YOUR GAS MONITOR
These days we are sanitizing everything due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but you really don’t want to use these sanitizers or cleaners on your gas monitor. It can harm your sensors temporarily or permanently.
Honeywell recommends that you use water and hand soap. Take care when using detectors around cleaning supplies, taking extra time to let the sterilizers dry completely before handling any of your monitors. Calibrate your monitor after cleaning to ensure no sensors were compromised. (MC Tool & Safety cleans your monitor with every calibration)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you stock personal gas monitors? YES, as long as they are shipping, we always have Honeywell single and multi-gas monitors in stock.
Can you sell and service other brands? We can sell many other brands, but we can’t always service them. Please call with the make and model of your unit to get more information.
Does my bump test gas work with all of my monitors? That depends. Single gas monitors can be bump tested with any multiple gas cylinder that contains that gas. Multi-gas monitors may need to have the gas match the configuration of the monitor and these can vary by brand and/or model.
I think I may have gotten a cleaning or sterilizing agent on one or more of the sensors, what do I do? You will need to re-calibrate and test the monitor to be sure none of the sensors were compromised. You can do this with a cylinder of calibration gas (the kind that has a regulator). Or you can send the unit to an authorized dealer for calibration. At MC Tool & Safety we can calibrate while you wait!
Please contact our Customer Service Department to get the answers to any of your questions today! Just call toll free at 1-888-206-2569, or if you are in the Greater Minneapolis Area dial 763-786-5350.
CONTACT MC TOOL & SAFETY FOR TOP-NOTCH GAS MONITOR SAFETY EQUIPMENT