A recently released video from General Monitors of the US explains the photoacoustic principle of gas monitoring used in its PA4000 instrument. This has particular value where vapour interference prevents the use of other methods whilst using infrared detecting technology.
Although gas instruments have a reputation for reliability, they are not without their problems, especially if regular checks and maintenance are neglected. Dave Wagner, Director of Product Knowledge for the Industrial Scientific Corp has written: “As a safety professional, you must monitor three elements of your gas detection programme at all times:
1. Do your gas detectors work properly?
2. Are your gas detectors being used correctly?
3. What gas hazards are your team members exposed to?”
In addition to regular calibration to combat ‘drift’, supervisors should be aware of the possibility of ‘poisoning’ catalytic bead sensors with unusual chemicals in the atmosphere, resulting in incorrect operation. This is more of a problem in processing plants however. Failure to address these issues can lead to a comforting but ultimately dangerous reliance on possibly false gas readings. As Wagner says, “Informed decisions strengthen the safety culture and will save lives; uninformed decisions create more unsafe behaviours and conditions.
Video: Photoacoustic gas monitor provides precise, low-cost, high-performance monitoring