Whether it is an offshore drilling platform, chemical manufacturing facility, research lab, water treatment facility, or other site, they contain many confined spaces where employees install, test, and repair equipment. While these areas contain a facility’s most important equipment, they are also some of the most dangerous places in an industrial area, since buildups of hydrogen sulfide and other dangerous substances can occur quicker here than in other areas. Due to the danger faced by employees in these areas, effective monitoring is a must. To accomplish this, VOC sensors are used in many ways to ensure confined spaces are safe for employees.
Since confined spaces can usually be found in many different parts of a facility, it is often not practical to place individual sensors in each of these areas, since the costs and logistics would be very difficult to justify. However, with recent technological advances, companies can now rely on portable VOC gas sensors to keep employees in these areas safe while at work. Compact in size, the sensors can be easily carried from one area to another, allow for real-time monitoring of VOC levels, and provide hands-free monitoring, since they can be attached to clothing or positioned on equipment being installed or repaired.
Difficult Work Environments
In many confined spaces, the work environment can be difficult on many fronts. Along with being very small areas, most are prone to having high humidity levels, temperature extremes, dust and dirt, vibrations, and high noise levels. Because of this, monitoring these areas in the past was difficult at best. But as electronic systems in volatile organic compounds sensors have become more sophisticated over the past decade, harsh work environments have had much less of an impact on monitoring these areas. By making many of today’s detection systems able to perform self-calibration, accurate and reliable data can be transmitted even when work environments are extremely harsh.
Since real-time data is crucial to detecting dangerous VOC levels in confined spaces, companies often deploy a system of multiple monitoring systems. Along with using VOC detectors that can be linked to mobile devices such as smartphones, facilities also have detectors that relay real-time data to monitoring centers off-site. By doing so, not only can engineers, technicians, and managers at the site have the latest data, but so can engineers in monitoring centers. With so many people having access to the latest information, data can be analyzed much faster, enabling decisions to be enacted and carried out in the event a serious situation develops.
Since many important pieces of equipment are located in confined spaces, monitoring these areas with a VOC sensor is crucial to ensuring production delays are few and far between. As a result, companies invest heavily in portable monitors and other systems in an effort to maintain effective production schedules. By doing so, not only does this ensure employees will remain as safe as possible, but also that multi-million dollar equipment will be properly monitored 24/7.