Working in confined spaces might sound simple, but it requires precise preparation. For instance, gas detectors (aka gas monitors) are crucial for navigating confined spaces responsibly. However, operating a reliable business requires more than taking such statements at face value. To learn how to optimize your workplace properly, read this introduction to the importance of gas monitoring in confined spaces.
Gas detectors aren’t tools for randomly monitoring the air around you for fun. These tools are integral for determining the atmospheric conditions in confined spaces. They allow employees working in confined spaces to determine whether the surrounding air contains too much oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, or other harmful airborne materials. For this reason, gas detectors offer a wide range of capabilities.
Some detectors can spot only two types of gases, while others can detect more, so be sure you’re buying a monitor that meets your needs. By determining what hazards are present in the air, employees can don the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and proceed accordingly.
The most significant reason gas detectors are crucial for navigating confined spaces is to ensure occupant safety. Specifically, these tools are necessary for detecting harmful fumes because, in many cases, such fumes aren’t detectable through vision or smell.
For example, monitoring the atmosphere for oxygen might not seem necessary. If you can breathe fine, there’s oxygen, right? Well, the topic goes a bit deeper than that. Unfortunately, too much or too little oxygen in the atmosphere creates an unsafe environment. For this reason, manufacturers make detection devices to suit various workplace needs. For instance, the differences between fixed and portable gas detectors make it simple to monitor confined spaces permanently or temporarily, whichever option best suits your needs.
As you can see, the importance of gas monitoring in confined spaces primarily comes down to employee safety. But these detection devices are also necessary for following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards correctly. On OSHA’s website, you can find their strict guidelines for allowing employees to operate in permit-required confined spaces.
Specifically, you can find these guidelines under standard number 1910.146. To follow OSHA standards properly, employers must ensure that their team conducts proper atmosphere testing; suffice to say, gas detectors are an essential part of that process.