In the event of an OSHA investigation, would you be able to provide compliance records proving your gas detectors are in proper working order? Or that they were bump tested before use and calibrated according to manufacturer standards?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you might want to consider adopting an instrument management system as part of your confined space entry program.
There are two kinds of systems to consider: manual and automated.
In a manual system, a technician calibrates the detectors regularly and marks each device with a sticker indicating its next due date. Paper or electronic documents are updated each time a bump test or calibration takes place.
Although it’s not a high-tech solution, a manual instrument management system will suffice, as long as you have the proper documentation to back up your procedures. Its drawback is in your ability to quickly find and share documentation data with others.
An automated system requires a combination of docking stations, PCs, and software. At the end of each work day, employees place their detectors into a docking station programmed to automatically bump test and calibrate each unit as required. The bump test and calibration results are transferred to a PC running some form of instrument fleet management software. Nightly reports are generated and e-mailed to managers to help identify instruments not working properly.
Automated management systems can help reduce the need for facility managers to manually log each test and calibration activity, producing quick and easily available compliance records, and ensuring adherence to employee safety procedures. Plus, the automated system gives you the computing powers of search, analysis, and information distribution.
Whether manual or automated, an instrument management system confirms your employees are provided with properly functioning and compliant gas detection equipment.
From a legal standpoint, record-keeping provides evidence of proper instrument maintenance as part of your confined space entry program. In the event of an investigation, these records could save your business from major violations, non-compliance fines, and a damaged reputation.
Continue Reading (Part II): So, you’re implementing a gas detection management program…
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