Mercifully, there are few workplace fatalities due to exposure to atmospheric hazards in the UK each year. Advances in gas detection equipment and a growing awareness for the need to use this technology to protect the workforce have helped tremendously, but, it begs the question that if this technology exists, why are there still accidents? injuries and deaths occurring that could be preventable?
For most businesses, the health, safety and welfare of the workforce are at the forefront of everything they do. However, a lack of regulations surrounding the requirement for gas detection equipment to be used leaves room for errors in judgement and for accidents to occur. Even when gas detection equipment is used, a lack of understanding about how the equipment works, knowing the correct sensor technology to use for the potential hazard, the need for preventative maintenance and simple daily tests, means that this life-saving equipment can fail to protect vulnerable workers.
The most common application for the use of gas detection equipment is in confined spaces. The majority of confined space incidents are due to atmospheric hazards and even when personal gas detection equipment is being used, it may not have been “function tested” prior to use and entry into the confined space or worn in the correct place. A quick and easy “Bump Test” carried out prior to use, will ensure the sensors respond to gas and the associated alarm indication is functioning. A “Bump Test” takes an average 15-30 seconds to perform, costs a few pence of test gas and will ensure that your equipment is going to provide you the protection required. Wearing this equipment within your breathing zone or as close to your face as possible will ensure that your monitor is detecting the air you are breathing. Gases can be heavier, lighter or the same density, hence, it is imperative you are detecting the air you are breathing in.
In August 2018, the HSE updated EH40 regulations that refer to the exposure limits of hazardous substances, meaning that many companies that had previously not had to use personal gas detection equipment now need to take action to ensure the health and safety of their workforce. Gas Detection appears complicated and maybe it is this that makes a lot of businesses shy away from it. There are different formats of equipment, different sensors and the correct placement of equipment and alarm settings can be a bit of a minefield. We believe that these new EH40 Regulations are just the beginning of a clampdown by the HSE. Exposure to hazardous substances is high on their agenda as we learn more and more about both the immediate and lifelong effects they can have and do have on our workers.
We, at GfG, are here to help you with your gas detection requirements every step of the way. We can visit your site and offer a FREE Gap Analysis of your existing capabilities and potential needs. We can help specify the equipment you need and offer a tailored on-going maintenance plan to suit both your on-going requirements and budgetary needs.