In almost any industrial facility, chances are benzene is located on the premises. A common substance in manufacturing plants, offshore drilling platforms, medical research labs, water treatment facilities, and many others, it’s vital that it be closely monitored at all times. A potentially deadly substance that can move through a facility very quickly if a leak occurs, benzene is very volatile, and can produce fatalities if not properly monitored and contained. Because of this, facilities that have benzene gas detectors on site must always make sure they are functioning properly. To learn how to accomplish this, here are some important tips to keep in mind.
Process Control Monitoring
In most instances when a benzene leak occurs, it’s due to a break within a valve or pipe. To properly monitor for these possibilities, benzene gas monitors use process control technology to quickly detect these malfunctions and alert maintenance personnel, who can quickly fix the problem before a hazardous situation develops. Using advanced technology that allows for real-time monitoring, benzene monitors can provide accurate and reliable data 24/7, making it almost impossible for a benzene leak to go undetected.
In areas such as offshore platforms or industrial plants, there are numerous confined spaces where maintenance technicians and other personnel spend hours each day testing, installing, and repairing various pieces of equipment. However, these spaces are also some of the most dangerous areas for benzene leaks, since a buildup of gas can occur in a matter of minutes. Therefore, more and more companies now equip employees who will be working in these areas with portable benzene gas detectors. Small enough to be clipped to shirts or belts, these detectors can quickly alert workers of danger, enabling them to escape an area before it becomes too dangerous. In addition to this, the detectors can also be linked to monitoring centers, allowing engineers to have real-time data from the area.
To make sure benzene detectors are providing data that is completely accurate and reliable, it’s crucial they be properly calibrated. While previously this required on-site technicians and engineers to do this task, today’s detectors can be calibrated remotely. Using previous data that has been carefully analyzed by safety engineers and technicians, the detectors can be pre-programmed to automatically calibrate and re-calibrate as needed based on environmental conditions. For example, in areas where extreme temperatures, high humidity levels, or dust and dirt may be common, the detectors can take these factors into account, adjust accordingly, and then transmit data to engineers reflecting the changes.
Since these detectors are equipped with various alarms such as sirens, warning lights, and strobes, it’s vital they be tested on a regular basis to ensure they are in proper working order. To do so, technicians use a small, controlled amount of gas to test the alarm systems, all the while having the test monitored by off-site engineers in case any unexpected situations develop. By doing so, employees and facilities can be kept much safer.