In manufacturing plants, offshore drilling platforms, water treatment facilities, and other sites, maintenance technicians and other workers spend much of their time in confined spaces. Often areas where equipment repairs, installations, and troubleshooting take place, confined spaces are usually some of the most difficult areas to monitor for dangerous gas buildups. However, as monitoring systems have become more advanced over the years, this task has become much easier. Since there are guidelines set forth by OSHA regarding safe oxygen levels within confined spaces, facilities are required to have systems in place that can keep workers as safe as possible. To learn more about how oxygen gas detection systems accomplish this, here are some important details to consider.

Portable Monitors

Since confined spaces are usually spread out within a facility, they can be tough areas in which to obtain accurate readings of oxygen levels. For many companies, the answer to this problem has been using portable oxygen deficiency monitors. Very compact and able to be worn on clothing, these monitors provide hands-free monitoring, while also sending real-time data to monitoring centers, where it can be analyzed by engineers. With this capability, technicians in these areas can always have instant access to oxygen levels, enabling them to evacuate quickly if a dangerous situation develops.

Alarm Systems

To ensure workers in and near confined spaces can be alerted to potential danger, modern oxygen depletion systems are now equipped with multiple alarms. In most systems, this includes flashing lights, strobes, and sirens or horns. By having multi-alarm systems, monitors can work well in various types of work environments. Whether it is a confined space where equipment noise may make it difficult to hear sirens or horns, or one where other factors may make it hard for lights to show up as well as needed, these systems can keep workers safe while completing their daily tasks.

Calibration Methods

For an oxygen depletion alarm to be accurate and reliable, it must be properly calibrated at all times. With previous monitors, engineers and maintenance technicians had to manually calibrate the monitors on a regular basis. However, with today’s oxygen depletion monitoring systems having advanced electronics that can be integrated with wireless networks, engineers in monitoring centers can program the monitors to self-calibrate 24/7. By doing so, the monitors can constantly adjust to changing environmental conditions, and can also be programmed to monitor for oxygen depletion levels in confined spaces that fall within a certain designated range. In being able to always have the latest data to analyze, engineers and technicians can spot trends or potential problems with equipment, allowing repairs to be made much faster. As a result, production lapses are kept to a minimum, as is the need for equipment replacement.

Since it is imperative for a facility to follow OSHA regulations concerning safe oxygen levels in confined spaces, having the best monitoring systems in place is crucial to keeping employees safe. To learn more about these systems, contact GDS at or call 409-927-2980.

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