The Role of Gas Detector Networking for Gas Hazards

Proper implementation of gas detectors is a key defense against hazardous gases in the workplace. But gathering and monitoring the data manually as gathered by any gas detection program can be a labor-intensive task.

This article highlights software solutions that reduce the burden on safety managers by supplying automatic compliance management, reporting and monitoring for gas detection equipment.

The underestimation of gas hazards should be avoided at all costs. For chemical processing facilities, laboratories, workshops, manufacturing plants and several other workplaces, hazardous gases generate a considerable risk of asphyxiation, poisoning, or explosion.

Almost always invisible, such gases are often only detected by smell once they have reached dangerous concentrations.

It is vital that the appropriate gas detection solutions are implemented in any environment where a gas hazard may occur in order to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment.

Fortunately, gas detector technology is significantly advanced, and today there are a wide range of gas detectors that are available to suit any application. From portable multi-gas detectors to efficient area monitoring solutions, today’s gas detectors provide dependable performance and good value for money.

Typically, personal gas detectors have the capacity to detect five or more gases concurrently, with several systems having integrated Wi-Fi capabilities for data collection and networking.1

Challenges in Gas Hazard Detection

With the growing availability of cost effective and effective gas detection technology, implementing gas detectors today is generally a straightforward task. Ensuring a gas detection program remains effective, however, is a different task entirely.2

The role of maintaining an effective gas detection program has many components:

  • Regular maintenance and testing of equipment. Including bump-testing prior to each use and calibration in-line with the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Appropriate training of personnel in the proper use of equipment. Investigations of gas-related fatal accidents tend to show an absence of gas detectors at the scene, a gas detector not in proper use, or a gas detector left behind in a truck.3 Maintaining an adequate safety culture and making sure that personnel are accustomed to safe and proper use of their equipment is just as critical as any initial training.
  • Dependable storage of data is key in order to demonstrate good compliance with safety regulations in the event of an audit; or to demonstrate historical data if an incident occurs.
  • Analysis of collected data: Gas detector readings should be collected and analyzed in order to determine hazards in the field and make sure that equipment is being put to proper use. Examination of alarm events and demonstrating the knowledge of detailed event reporting is key to understanding the root causes of any issues.

Keeping track of these tasks is a challenging and time-consuming job. Typically, the administration of the paperwork alone from a gas detection program can make it difficult to identify hazards and track regulatory compliance.

All gas reading data should be thoroughly analyzed so that trends can be identified, informing preventive maintenance procedures to limit the risks. Using data productively in this way is a critical part of improving the safety of personnel.

Software-Enhanced Gas Detection

Effective gas detection equipment should not increase any workloads. Thankfully, the enhanced connectivity of gas detectors is permitting software-enhanced gas detection systems, where a network of gas detector units are connected to a central control point for simple analysis.

iNet Exchange is a complete software-based gas detection service designed to eliminate the hard work of gas detection.4 Developed by Industrial Scientific, the iNet Exchange program is made up of three key elements:

  • A network of portable multi-gas detectors for personal or area use
  • A set gas detector docking stations
  • iNet Control software comes as standard, offering centralized data collection and analysis

Track and Mitigate Hazards

iNet Exchange depends on iNet Control, which is a centralized piece of software. This is the first hosted software for managing gas detector networks; iNet Control offers the ability to monitor trends, track performance and compare performance to industry standards in a straightforward manner.

iNet Control collects measurement data from all gas detectors in the network and condenses the data in simple and coherent summary reports, with tailored graphs and historical filtering.

iNet Control can produce reports displaying users and locations as well as gas types and concentrations in the event of personnel being exposed to a hazard, making it easy to establish the root cause of gas hazards and take preventative action.

The iNet system can be modified by a second piece of software: iNet Now. iNet Now generates real-time monitoring of a gas detector network in the field. What’s more, iNet Now provides text and email alerts for gas hazards, panic and man-down situations.

iNet Now offers a real-time map of workers and instruments. This allows safety managers the ability to supervise all workers within a facility even when not on-site.

iNet Exchange, iNet Control and iNet Now have been developed to work to perfection on their own. Yet, all three can be consolidated to offer a simple, complete and effective gas monitoring system. 

Monitor Gas Detector Use

iNet software protects personnel by informing safety managers when instruments have been shut down during alarm, when somebody is working too hard in hazardous conditions, or if instruments are being operated without appropriate bump testing or calibration.

This information can be utilized to take action to keep people safe and inspire employee compliance where necessary.5

Automatic Maintenance and Straightforward Compliance

Utilizing gas detector docking stations that have the capacity to bump testing and calibrating gas detectors automatically, the iNet Exchange program gets rid of the need for costly manual maintenance tasks.

Whether it be 5 or 500 gas detectors, iNet Control makes compliance seem simple. Certificates can be printed for easy auditing due to the availability of a set of pre-configured reports, including bump tests and calibration trends.

Eliminate Hassle

iNet is a subscription based gas detection service designed specifically to eradicate the labor that comes with managing and owning a gas detection fleet in house.

When iNet becomes aware of an issue with a detector, Industrial Scientific will immediately send a replacement detector to you to limit unnecessary downtime.

The subscription model simplifies gas detection budgets become making them more predictable, and customers constantly have access to state-of-the-art gas detection technology.

References

  1. Gas Detectors & Gas Detection Technology | Industrial Scientific. https://www.indsci.com/en/gas-detectors/.
  2. IndSci White Paper | Does Your Gas Detection Program Need A Health Check? https://www.indsci.com/globalassets/documents/white-papers/does-your-gas-detection-program-need-a-health-check/inet_wp_en.pdf.
  3. Failures and Fatalities. Health and Safety International https://www.hsimagazine.com/article/failures-and-fatalities/ (2020).
  4. Gas Detection Management Software | iNet Control | Industrial Scientific. https://www.indsci.com/en/solutions/inet-control/#form.
  5. IndSci White Paper | iNet Control Supports Safety Accountability at All Levels. https://www.indsci.com/globalassets/documents/case-studies/case-study---safety-accountability/cs_inetcontrolsupportssafetyaccountability_en.pdf.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Industrial Scientific.

For more information on this source, please visit Industrial Scientific.

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