Properly functioning gas analyzers are a vital part of any facility’s safety and health policy. This is especially true when one considers the dangers posed by an undetected buildup of flammable gas, which can often result in fires or explosions that can damage or destroy the entire facility. For this reason, determining why a gas analyzer is not giving accurate readings is a core part of any comprehensive workplace safety plan. If a gas analyzer is not giving accurate readings, it is a clear danger to the facility and employees alike, in addition to the potential legal issues that might arise. However, it is important to determine why the analyzer is not giving accurate results in order to find an effective counter for the issue.
In order to be effective, a gas analyzer has to be placed in such a way that the atmosphere surrounding it is characteristic of the entire area it is intended to protect. Poor placement can defeat this goal. For example, placing an analyzer adjacent to a door could see it giving an inaccurate reading due to the mixing of the room’s air with that of the exterior spaces. Equally, placing an analyzer next to an area where flammable gas is commonly emitted might see it giving higher than normal readings for the chamber. Because of this, gas analyzers should be placed in areas where they will be exposed to the average levels of gas, rather than regions prone to extremes in either direction.
A vital part of installing and maintaining gas sensors is their proper calibration. Properly calibrated sensors are not simply accurate in their own right; they can contribute to the overall information about the facility that is generated by the gas sensor network. For this reason, every sensor must be regularly calibrated and employees should be trained and evaluated on their ability to properly calibrate all the sensor types that will be used at the facility. In addition to its other benefits, regular calibration of sensors can assist the facility in detecting sensors that are in need of replacement. Finding out that multiple sensors, especially newly installed ones, are giving inaccurate reading is often a sign that the company’s calibration policies are in need of review.
Improper or deferred maintenance is often the unsung villain when a major malfunction occurs at the worksite. It is vital that a regular schedule of sensor maintenance be maintained and that sensors that do not pass the inspection be promptly repaired or replaced. Furthermore, should there be an unexpected spike in the number of sensors requiring repair or replacement, management should immediately determine the underlying causes. In some cases, these issues can be the first sign of more serious malfunctions within the facility.
A gas analyzer is the first line of defense against the potential dangers posed by toxic or flammable gas. By ensuring that the facility’s analyzer network is properly functioning, the potential danger to the physical plant, facility employees and the surrounding community can be eliminated. For that reason, the maintenance of any gas analyzers should always be considered a top priority by the management and their employees alike.