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Instruments and monitors for workplace safety

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Instruments such as gas monitors and detectors are designed to protect workers against potential dangers within the workplace.

These devices help workers identify risks such as dangerous levels of gases or whether hearing protection is required to enter any work area.

Advancements in technology are now making these instruments and monitors simpler and more reliable than ever.

Dave Wagner, director of product knowledge for the Oakdale, PA-based Industrial Scientific Corp. observes that one of the fastest-growing trends in instrument safety involves the use of data-logged information to show trends in hazardous conditions and monitor worker safety. Data collected in real time using wireless technologies is reviewed to gain greater understanding of the conditions that workers are exposed to, helping companies to improve workplace safety.

The lifespan of these instruments is also a key factor in ensuring workplace safety. Gustavo Lopez, product group manager, portable instruments and sensors for the PA-based MSA confirms the availability of products that can be relied on for years. He cites examples of a new range of catalytic combustible sensors that uses two detectors to double the instrument’s life from two to four years in addition to lead-free oxygen sensors that use a non-consuming chemical reaction and can last for more than four years.

Wagner however points out that it is equally important to interpret and apply data from instruments correctly, which can be ensured by providing better training to workers and increasing their comfort levels with the equipment at hand. Misuse of the equipment through improper care and maintenance should also be avoided.

According to Lopez, these products and sensors require bump testing prior to each use. He cautions that if care is ignored or sloppy, workers can experience sensor drift leading to false alarms.

Wagner also emphasises the need to ensure that the particular instrument and its features and functionality are appropriate for the specific application, and will deliver the results expected by the end user.

Lopez advises companies to confirm product quality before making the investment. Other determining factors in the purchasing decision include durability, reliability and overall cost of ownership so that the product will deliver on efficiency and safety.

Industrial Scientific Corp is represented in Australia by Air-Met Scientific Pty Ltd .

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