Posts Tagged portable gas detectors
The addition to OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926 was designed to protect employees engaged in construction activities at work sites with one or more confined spaces.
A confined space is not designed for human occupancy. It has limited means of entering or exiting and can have a potentially hazardous atmosphere. Confined spaces may be poorly ventilated and, as a result, lack adequate oxygen or contain dangerous levels of toxic gases.
Before standard 29 CFR 1926, OSHA’s confined space regulations only applied to general industry. A gap grew obvious when the department of labor statistics reported most confined space fatalities were occurring during construction activities.
The new standard is very similar to the previous one, but applies directly to work in construction. It requires a permit to enter, pre-entry testing and continuous monitoring while inside the confined space.
While this new standard closes the gap in construction work, it leaves out one important component: maintenance.
You’ve got personal gas detectors in the field with your employees. That’s a great step in keeping them safe. But now, you need to make sure the equipment is working properly, is bump tested on a regular basis, has current calibration certificates, and be able to easily produce these records if a worker is injured in the field. That’s where your gas detection management program comes in.
So, where do you start?
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.
Do workers in your offices suffer from long bouts of sneezing, sniffling, cough, sore throat, itchy or red eyes and skin, or fatigue — for no explainable reason?
The mold and pollen counts are low. But workers complain of headaches, stuffed noses, itchy eyes, and breathing problems. Do they say they feel better at home in the evenings or on weekends, or when they leave the office during lunch? Is it just cold season, or an environmental illness caused by exposure to respirable particles or chemicals?
I recently had to fix a leaky faucet in my bathtub. I assumed it would be a quick fix until I started taking the fixture apart. It’s a Kohler unit, which is nice, but the parts are not inexpensive, a fact which surprised me a bit once I got to the hardware store. I should really say “stores” because the first location didn’t have all the parts I needed and required a second stop. The fix itself wasn’t too bad, but by the time I finished, I had spent a lot more money than I though I would and used up most of the morning.
Sometimes maintaining four gas meters feels the same way. The nicer, more expensive units are great, but maintenance and replacement sensor costs can sneak up on you and add up quickly. Also, if you have to replace sensors by bringing in multiple units from the field on multiple occasions, you may have significant labor hours allocated to a very inexpensive four gas meter. You should always consider the total cost of ownership when deciding which portable gas detection you’re going to use for your facility.
There are a number of variables that can effect total cost of ownership: