When employees at a manufacturing plant, laboratory, water treatment plant, or even an offshore drilling platform are working in confined spaces, they are at risk of a dangerous gas buildup or other serious situation. In many cases, low oxygen levels, buildups of methane, benzene, or carbon monoxide, or equipment malfunctions that lead to undetected hazards occurring can all result in injuries or deaths. As a result, the use of confined space monitors has become a much higher priority for companies. But to make sure these monitors are used in the best possible way, it is important to know exactly what they measure.

Gas Levels

Since such gases as carbon monoxide are tasteless, colorless, and odorless, it can be impossible for workers entering confined spaces to know they may be walking into a dangerous situation. But by using confined space gas sensors, they can have much better levels of protection. In most cases, workers in these areas rely on portable gas sensors while working on equipment, performing tests, and conducting inspections. Since these portable monitors are hands-free devices that can attach to belts or clothing, they allow for easy monitoring of gas levels while work is being conducted, and can transmit the data in real-time to nearby personnel as well as monitoring centers miles from a facility.

Hydrogen Sulfide

In the vast majority of industrial work environments, employees performing tasks in confined spaces must be aware of potential buildups of volatile organic compounds, including hydrogen sulfide. Since this VOC can lead to irritated eyes and skin, as well as difficulty breathing, confined space gas monitors must be used to scan for this substance at all times. In many areas, these monitors are installed either directly within the confined space area or nearby, allowing for 24/7 monitoring that can be counted on to be accurate and reliable.

Multiple Pathway Detection

Due to many industrial settings having various gases and substances in the area on a daily basis, it has become increasingly important to utilize confined space gas detectors capable of performing multiple pathway detection. By doing so, a multitude of gases can be detected simultaneously if necessary, using open path and sample draw technology. Once detected, the data can be sent to on-site engineers through wireless networks, all of which have been linked to smartphones and other mobile devices. In recent years, this technology has become extremely crucial to many facilities, since the mixing of certain gases and other substances can sometimes lead to fires, explosions, or toxic gas buildups.

Work Environments

Since confined space entry gas detection applies to virtually all industrial facilities, the technology used in various monitors and sensors has been upgraded to perform well in many different work environments. Whether it is an offshore platform where humidity levels are very high, or perhaps an industrial manufacturing plant where temperature extremes and equipment vibrations are common, confined space detection systems are equipped with state-of-the-art electronics that can self-calibrate, allowing for a constant stream of accurate and reliable data.