Within many types of industrial work environments, one of the biggest hazards faced by workers is VOC, which stands for volatile organic compounds. Highly-regulated due to their potential to inflict harm on humans and the environment, these compounds can cause a variety of problems for those exposed to them over a period of time, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, nausea, loss of coordination, and in extreme cases damage to a person’s liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, which in some instances can lead to death. To ensure workers are kept as safe as possible from these substances, companies are investing more and more in technology that can monitor facilities and provide information that is accurate and reliable.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds?

At many industrial plants, offshore platforms, laboratories, and other settings, common substances that qualify as VOC include methane, benzene, acetone, hydrocarbons, and gasoline or exhaust produced by the use of fossil fuels during the manufacturing process. Since most of these compounds evaporate into the surrounding air very quickly, it is critical to have monitoring systems in place that can detect dangerous levels and alert nearby workers, since evacuations are often necessary.

Versatile Detection Capabilities

Because VOC can be found in many different work settings, it is important the monitors and sensors used in these facilities have versatile detection capabilities. If you are wondering about this in regards to what is a VOC meter, today’s technology now allows these meters to have a detection capability of 20 parts per billion, allowing them to be effective in virtually any work setting. In addition to this, most of today’s meters are also equipped with long-lasting rechargeable batteries that can function for at least 24 hours before recharging becomes necessary.

Confined Space Monitoring

To learn more about what is a VOC detector, it is important to know as much as possible about confined space monitoring. Whether it is a laboratory at a university, an offshore drilling platform in the middle of an ocean, or a chemical processing plant in an industrial park, all of these settings have numerous confined spaces that require careful monitoring for VOC. To accomplish this, many companies purchase portable VOC detectors, which can work in conjunction with fixed monitoring systems to help protect workers from unexpected buildups of these dangerous substances. By using portable detectors that can be clipped to belts or clothing, engineers and technicians can closely monitor VOC levels while repairing or installing equipment. Along with this, all data from the detectors is transmitted in real-time to on-site safety engineers and also off-site analysts at monitoring centers, allowing for instant analysis in the event an emergency occurs.

Whether used in an area where high humidity levels, temperature extremes, or dust and dirt are significant factors, VOC detectors and meters are made to withstand the harshest of work environments. To learn more about the importance of this technology and how it can make your work facility much safer, contact GDS at 409-927-2980.