Hazardous gases – can be invisible and often times have no odor. On other occasions, if you can smell them, it may already be too late.
As a first responder, your life depends on you knowing about and understanding the different industries in your areas and the potential hazards you may encounter on any given day.
So, how do you go about protecting yourself in these situations? Well, a small device about the size of a cell phone could be your biggest life saver – a multi-sensor personal gas monitor.
When responding to incidents that may occur within the energy industry, a multi-sensor personal gas monitor is recommended as it tests for multiple things, not just one single gas, and it produces an alarm when a hazard is detected.
In an article by Edward G. Ligus, Jr. on the EHSToday website, he notes that the sensor is the most important component inside a gas monitor. When facing an unknown gas hazard, you need a sensor that provides dependable detection of combustible atmospheres. It quickly should respond to explosive gases and have a high level of sensitivity to combustible organic vapors in a confined space. The monitor you choose should include sensors for:
- O2 – To check the oxygen level for deficiency or enrichment.
- Combustible gas – To test for levels of flammable or explosive gases.
- Toxic gas levels – Typical confined space monitors have hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon monoxide (CO) sensors; additional toxic sensors may be used based on the application.
He concludes by adding that you should consider including portable multi-sensor personal gas monitors as part of your organization’s safety management plan.
So, should you need to respond to an incident where these types of hazards are present, make sure you have a working gas monitor clipped high on your jacket where it will alert to invisible dangers you may not be able to see.