The Importance of Gas Detection and The Bump Test
Considering it is now 2013, commercial and industrial industries are under more rules and regulations than ever before. When it comes to safety in the workplace, there are numerous governing bodies regulating the way jobs are performed, ensuring that best practices are enforced, and promoting the completion of jobs and tasks in the safest way possible. One of the things these governing bodies, such as OSHA, have specific regulations for is gas detection. Gas detectors are required by industry best practices and regulations and are the only way that workplaces can identify gas leaks and potential threats within the workplace. They are extremely important and are a critical piece of safety equipment that can be used to detect explosive atmospheres, oxygen deficiency, and toxic gases that may have leaked into the air. Without gas detectors being used to detect threats, workers are exposed to potentially damaging gases that can cause harm to their minds and bodies, or even result in death.
Gas detectors are great for detecting gases that would not otherwise be smelled by humans in the workplace. However, due to the harsh and rigorous conditions of some jobsites and workplaces, gas detectors can be affected and could suffer damages to physically or through their sensors. Damage to the sensors can be caused by poisons in the air or concentrations of poisons that exceed the gas detector’s detectable limit. Dirt and debris can also obstruct the sensor ports of gas detectors, which would prevent the movement of gas into the detector. Due to all of these possible complications with gas detectors, it is important to have a method of verifying whether or not your gas detectors are working correctly and are reacting to target gases. One of the best ways to do this is with something called the “bump test.”
A bump test is where the gas detector is exposed to a concentration of gas that exceeds the alarm set points on the detector. This will help identify the sensors’ ability to respond to target gases. By manually testing gas detectors with the bump test, one can confirm that the sensors are reacting to gases and that visual and audio alarms are working correctly and will alert workers when dangerous gases are present. There are a number of different ways to perform a bump test including using aerosol cans of sample gas to docking stations designed for the detectors. Bump tests are extremely important and only take a minute to perform, so don’t neglect this! It is highly recommended that all workers and supervisors bump test their gas detectors every morning before heading into work. This is already required by most manufacturers, but still too many workers neglect to test their detectors on a regular basis. Those that don’t test their detectors are greatly increasing their chances of being exposed to harmful gases that they cannot smell.
Considering that there are so many different ways for harmful gases to leak into the air, gas detection is extremely important and should, in no way, be neglected. Workers’ health and even their lives are at stake. Not only that, if a worker were to somehow get injured or killed on the job, the company would be in serious trouble both legally and financially. Not to mention the fact that their safety record would essentially be ruined. Don’t neglect gas detection! It is imperative to worker safety and the company’s overall well-being. Regularly bump test gas detectors and promote gas detection safety throughout the workplace so that workers, supervisors, and managers are aware of the dangers and consequences of harmful gases and the benefits of gas detection and bump testing.
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