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Gas Detection

FOUR GAS MONITOR — GAS DETECTION FOR COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

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FOUR GAS MONITOR — GAS DETECTION FOR COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

When facing unknown environmental hazards invisible to the body’s senses, a gas detector is the first line of defense for worker safety. Portable gas detectors are often part of personal protective equipment (PPE) mandated by businesses and designed to keep personnel safe. Personal four gas monitors or detectors continuously evaluate a worker’s environment for multiple gas hazards. A four gas monitor provides comprehensive gas detection coverage for complex working environments when there is a risk of injury, illness or death from potentially toxic or explosive ambient gases.

WHY A FOUR GAS MONITOR VERSUS A SINGLE GAS DETECTOR?

Hazards posed by gases can be classified into three categories: toxic, asphyxiating and combustible. Four gas monitors are typically configured with sensors to address each of these scenarios for a given worksite or scenario. For example, in the energy industry, sour gas presents a significant risk of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exposure to workers. Many businesses supplement monitoring of H2S with combustible gases, oxygen and carbon monoxide. Combustible gas sensors are a smart addition to locations where natural gas is present with H2S, addressing the detection of a potentially explosive atmosphere. Everyone requires oxygen, which can be displaced by other gases, causing a deficiency. Further, incomplete combustion can generate carbon monoxide, an asphyxiating gas.

G7 IS A LEADING FOUR GAS MONITOR

A four gas monitor is often a smart investment for many industries and applications. Blackline Safety’s G7 connected gas detection system delivers an exclusive customizable, modular design, providing tailored comprehensive gas detection for every work scenario. Quad-gas cartridges turn G7 into a four gas monitor and are compatible with a selection of gas sensors.

G7 with a Quad-gas Cartridge is a highly configurable four gas monitor that is compatible with a range of gas sensors including combustible gases, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and oxygen. Other sensors are currently under development to expand our line of available sensors.

Let us know about your gas sensor requirements.

UNSEEN HAZARDS

Oxygen sensors will alert for both oxygen-enriched and depleted environments. Oxygen enrichment (more than 23.5%) occurs when oxygen concentration exceeds that of fresh air, potentially increasing the risk of combustion of flammable gases. Oxygen deficient environments (less than 19.5% oxygen) present a suffocation hazard and can impact the body’s respiratory system in seconds. Other gases, toxic or not, can displace oxygen, creating a hazardous atmosphere that impairs worker respiration.

Combustible gases pose a risk of explosion. LEL sensors detect the concentration of flammable or explosive gases and alert the user if the level of gas surpasses the pre-configured concentration below the lower explosive limit (LEL), well before the potential for explosion occurs.

Toxic gases are often fast acting and, depending on the concentration, can impact systems within the body very quickly or can pose a longer-term health risk. Electrochemical gas sensors, such as for carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) alert well before toxic gas levels reach harmful concentrations.

G7 FOUR GAS MONITOR SENSORS

G7 supports three main gas detection sensor types that accommodate the monitoring of toxic, asphyxiating and combustible gases.

ELECTROCHEMICAL GAS SENSORS

  • Hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and oxygen (pumped)
  • Monitor Short Term Exposure Limits (STELs) and Time Weighted Averages (TWAs)

CATALYTIC (PELLISTOR) GAS SENSORS

  • Detects combustible gases through controlled oxidation
  • Does not work well in an oxygen-depleted environment
  • Measures from 0-100% of the LEL
  • May not give a reading when above 100% LEL

INFRARED (IR) GAS SENSORS 

  • Detects combustible gases through IR absorption
  • Do not require oxygen to accurately function
  • Measures 0-100% LEL

INDUSTRIES WELL SERVED BY A FOUR GAS MONITOR

Hazardous gases vary from industry to industry, based on materials being handled and naturally-occurring environmental conditions. Comprehensive gas detection with a four gas monitor accommodates for diverse gas threats that employees can face in the line of work.

OIL AND GAS

  • Toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas is present in sour natural gas
  • Carbon monoxide (CO), an asphyxiating gas that may be generated from incomplete combustion
  • A gas leak can displace oxygen, posing a risk to the worker
  • Hydrocarbon gas leaks, such as natural gas, can pose an explosion risk

WATER AND WASTEWATER

  • Methane gas can be generated by biological processes that break down wastes, posing an explosion risk
  • Toxic hydrogen sulfide can be generated by biological processes

 MINING

  • Like water and wastewater facilities, mining operations also pose the risk of methane and H2S exposure. Additionally, carbon monoxide may be present — a toxic gas capable of depleting oxygen levels. In these cases, both LEL and electrochemical sensors are required for comprehensive detection coverage of possible gas exposures.

 CONSTRUCTION

  • Heaters that operate during cold weather can generate carbon monoxide if propane or natural gas combustion is hindered

G7 devices with a Quad-gas cartridge provide safety monitoring and gas coverage for a variety of complex working environments. The quad-gas cartridge supports up to four gases, but can also be configured for two or three gas sensors.

MAINTAINING FOUR GAS MONITORS

Proper maintenance and calibration are necessary to ensure reliable four gas monitor performance and accuracy — improper maintenance can lead to inaccurate readings or failure to detect a sensor that is not working.

OSHA recommends developing standardized procedures to ensure calibrations and proper usage, including the documentation and verification of proper maintenance. Calibration refers to measuring an instrument’s accuracy relative to a known traceable concentration of a test gas. It is important to calibrate devices to environmental conditions that are the same or close to real-world work conditions. Further, ISEA recommends verifying the operational capacity of gas detection sensors (bump testing), before each shift, plus regular calibration.

Blackline’s G7 Dock offers a cost-effective solution to perform bump tests and calibrations while minimizing the amount of calibration gas used. We’ll highlight our G7 Dock in an upcoming blog article.

 

 POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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G7C HAS ACHIEVED ATEX CERTIFICATION

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G7C HAS ACHIEVED ATEX CERTIFICATION

WIRELESS GAS DETECTOR SYSTEM GOES GLOBAL

With ATEX certification, G7c is revolutionizing the global gas detection industry, providing built-in 3G communication, two-way speakerphone, live monitoring and modular gas detection. Wireless connectivity increases situational awareness, accounting for everyone’s whereabouts — G7c communicates every safety incident and gas alert to live monitoring personnel in real-time, empowering an active and optimized emergency response, to make a difference for an employee who needs help.

ATEX CERTIFICATION — WHAT IS IT?

Under Directive 2014/34/EU, the European Union controls equipment that can be used in environments where there may be an explosive atmosphere due to the presence of gases, vapors, mists or dusts. The ATEX acronym comes from ‘atmospheric explosion’ and is the general term applied to equipment used in Europe and the United Kingdom that is certified intrinsically safe. Intrinsic safety refers to the careful electronic design of a product such that an explosion cannot be triggered by equipment use or a failure within the product.

Blackline’s G7c achieved ATEX certification according to standard EN 60079 and IEC 60079 for use in Zone 0 locations, where an expectation of explosive gases being present for more than 1,000 hours per year is assumed. G7c is now available to clients in over 200 countries, to make a difference and improve their safety programs. Blackline has certified G7c according to CSA C22.2 No. 60079 and UL 60079 standards, enabling use in Class I, Division 1, Groups A, B, C and D locations.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE — TRADITIONAL GAS DETECTORS ARE OBSOLETE

Gone are the days of traditional gas detectors that function like smoke alarms, notifying only the wearer and those in earshot of dangerous gas levels present in the area — potentially leaving the worker alone with no way to reach help. With two-way 3G connectivity and a built-in speakerphone, Blackline’s live 24/7 monitoring teams automatically connect with an employee and can manage a real-time emergency response when required — should they call for help using the SOS latch, a fall be detected, or a gas alert is triggered — delivering an optimized emergency response to their exact location.

Traditional personal gas detector programs have struggled to ensure ongoing compliance and to keep employees safe — G7c sets the bar for the gas detection industry where businesses can see the compliance status of all equipment, in real-time. Every calibration, bump test and all equipment used is summarized in an intuitive, online dashboard and through weekly reporting.

WEB-BASED MONITORING

The Blackline Live web portal provides you the opportunity to configure your G7c devices, manage all your workers and track compliance wirelessly, over-the-air — even when you’re not on site. Every event is communicated in real-time to Blackline’s servers and stored for reporting. Alert profiles are customizable to determine which devices should be notified in the event of an incident and what response protocol monitoring personnel will follow to ensure your team gets the help it needs. Real-time monitoring is complemented by live maps and customized facility floorplans for increased location accuracy and optimized response time.

THE MODULAR GAS DETECTION DIFFERENCE

To cater to the wide variety of hazardous work environments teams face, Blackline’s G7c and its cartridges are Zone 0 compliant and ATEX certified for use in potentially explosive environments. G7c features an exclusive modular design with a selection of customizable, field-replaceable cartridges — choose between a single- or quad-gas cartridge, then select from a range of gas sensors to suit work scenarios, including flammable gases, hydrogen sulfide, oxygen and carbon monoxide. With Blackline’s cartridge replacement program as part of your G7c service plan, never buy a cartridge again — increasing product up-time and ensuring seamless gas detection and safety monitoring while minimizing maintenance costs.

INDOOR / OUTDOOR LOCATION TECHNOLOGY — LOCATION BEACONS

G7c is Blackline’s second device to be certified Zone 0 compliant. Blackline’s location beacons works with G7c as a compact accessory, providing precise G7c positioning signals for areas where GPS signals alone may not be sufficient, such as around or inside complex facilities. For monitoring teams to quickly deliver resources to an employee, facility floorplans can also be uploaded to monitoring accounts and used together with beacons to ensure precise and accurate indoor location tracking in context of a workers surroundings.

POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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H2S DETECTOR — WHAT BLACKLINE’S NEW G7 DELIVERS

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H2S DETECTOR — WHAT BLACKLINE’S NEW G7 DELIVERS

H2S EXPOSURE

As we talked about in Part One of our H2S Series, hydrogen sulfide is a fast acting poison, impacting many systems within the body. Wearable gas sensors are necessary for early detection and alerting, as the body’s senses are not reliable indicators. Exposure to low levels of H2S gas within a short period of time will not usually produce adverse effects in a healthy person, though long-term exposure or exposure to high levels of the gas may result in immediate, lasting effects. To keep your team safe, an H2S detector with a fast response time and sturdy construction are important for use in the environments where H2S gas may occur.

THE G7 DIFFERENCE

Traditional gas detectors function similarly to smoke alarms, alerting only the wearer and those in earshot of potentially hazardous surroundings. For gas detectors to deliver maximum value to users, wireless connectivity and live monitoring are crucial enhancements over traditional gas detection equipment. Blackline’s new G7 solution provides encompassing, connected safety monitoring to supplement gas detection, for dangerous environments where H2S may incapacitate or render workers unconscious in no time.

G7 connects employees to Blackline’s live 24/7 monitoring teams, who react instantly when an alert is communicated, providing immediate emergency response when required — should an employee call for help using G7’s SOS latch, a fall be detected, or a gas alert triggered. With connectivity, worker confidence increases in hazardous environments, knowing they are connected and being monitored by real people.

H2S SENSORS

Blackline Safety utilises the industry-standard electrochemical sensor for its H2S detector products, plus carbon monoxide and ammonia. In electrochemical sensors, the target gas undergoes a chemical reaction producing a current inside the sensor that is proportional to the concentration of gas present. A sensing electrode and counter electrode are in contact with and separated by an electrolyte. Gas enters the sensor and interacts with the working electrode where it is either oxidised, accepting oxygen and/or releasing electrons, or reduced, releasing oxygen and/or accepting electrons. The current produced is a direct result of how much of the target gas is oxidised or reduced at the working electrode. Blackline’s electrochemical sensor has a lower detection limit for H2S of 0.5 ppm.

H2S DETECTOR — THE BENEFITS OF LIVE MONITORING

H2S is a gas capable of rendering workers unconscious within just a few breaths at high levels — yet even when a worker can no longer self-rescue, it is not too late. Traditional gas detectors function similarly to smoke alarms, alerting only the wearer and those in earshot of potentially hazardous situations. In addition to a t90 response time providing a gas reading for H2S in 20 seconds, G7 also communicates any H2S detector readings above pre-set thresholds in real-time to live monitoring personnel. Employees who face an incident experience extreme stress. Even when they can’t respond, monitoring personnel can be in constant contact with the affected worker via industrial two-way speakerphone.

REAL-TIME EMERGENCY RESPONSE MANAGEMENT

Following an incident, every second counts. In life-threatening situations, how an emergency response is managed could mean the difference between an optimised rescue and a recovery. When an alarm is triggered, should it be an H2S detector reading or a fallen employee, Blackline’s live monitoring personnel spring into action.

  • 00m 01s: G7 sends a high H2S alarm to the Blackline Live network
  • 00m 02s: Blackline’s live monitoring team receives the H2S detector reading and worker’s location
  • 00m 31s: Voice call is established with the worker
  • 00m 40s: Team member receives voice alert, mustering them to a safe area OR nearest responders are notified and directed to the worker’s location

With G7, rescues are optimised so more lives can be saved.

GAS DETECTION COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING

With G7, all incident and gas detection data is communicated in real-time to the Blackline Safety Network for storage and reporting. Though H2S does not usually create lasting health effects after minor exposure to low levels, continued or prolonged exposure may result in chronic ailments. With G7 incident reporting, areas with persistent leaks can be identified so appropriate safety precautions can be taken.

An H2S detector or personal safety monitor cannot warn of a threatening event if they are not properly used. G7 is an all-in-one solution, cutting down the number of devices a worker needs to carry with them, and constantly tracks usage for reporting. Should an employee neglect to wear their device or use it appropriately, safety managers have the data to follow up with them accordingly.

Though H2S electrochemical sensors are very reliable, it is best-practice to ensure the sensor is regularly bump tested and calibrated to ensure accurate readings. G7 manages all calibration and bump test reminders over-the-air, alerting the using of upcoming due dates so compliance can be maintained. Data is then stored for reporting, communicated to Blackline’s servers. With G7, the tools to manage your fleet and ensure compliance is available in real-time, at your fingertips.

 POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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H2S GAS — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYDROGEN SULFIDE

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H2S GAS — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYDROGEN SULFIDE

WHAT IS H2S GAS?

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a gas commonly found during the drilling and production of crude oil and natural gas, plus in wastewater treatment and utility facilities and sewers. The gas is produced as a result of the microbial breakdown of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Colourless, flammable, poisonous and corrosive, H2S gas is noticeable by its rotten egg smell. With toxicity similar to carbon monoxide, which prevents cellular respiration, monitoring and early detection of H2S could mean the difference between life and death.

IMPACT ON SAFETY (SHORT-TERM)

Gas is a silent threat, often invisible to the body’s senses. Inhalation is the primary route of exposure to hydrogen sulfide. Though it may be easily smelled by some people at small concentrations, continuous exposure to even low levels of H2S quickly deadens the sense of smell (olfactory desensitization). Exposure to high levels of the gas can deaden the sense of smell instantly. Although the scent of H2S is a characteristic, smell is not a dependable indicator of H2S gas presence or for indicating increasing concentrations of the gas.

H2S irritates the mucous membranes of the body and the respiratory tract, among other things. Following exposure, short-term, or acute, symptoms may include a headache, nausea, convulsions, and eye and skin irritation. Injury to the central nervous system can be immediate and serious after exposure. At high concentrations, only a few breaths are needed to induce unconsciousness, coma, respiratory paralysis, seizures, even death.

IMPACT ON HEALTH (LONG-TERM)

Those having prolonged exposure to high enough levels of H2S gas to cause unconsciousness may continue to experience headaches, reduced attention span and motor functions. Pulmonary effects of H2S gas exposure may not be apparent for up to 72 hours following removal from the affected environment. Delayed pulmonary edema, a buildup of excess fluid in the lungs, may also occur following exposure to high concentrations.

H2S does not accumulate in the body, but repeated/prolonged exposure to moderate levels can cause low blood pressure, headache, loss of appetite and weight loss. Prolonged exposure to low levels may cause painful skin rashes and irritated eyes. Repeated exposure over time to high levels of H2S may cause convulsions, coma, brain and heart damage, even death.

IMPACT ON FACILITIES

Heavier than air, H2S gas accumulates in low lying areas of poorly ventilated spaces. In oil and gas applications, sour gas (products containing H2S gas) in the presence of air and moisture may form sulfuric acid, capable of corroding metals. Facility equipment, including the internal surfaces of various components, faces reduced durability and impact strength, potentially leading to premature failure.

DETECTION OF H2S GAS

Hydrogen sulfide is a fast acting poison, impacting many systems within the body. Wearable gas sensors are necessary for early detection and alerting, as the body’s senses are not reliable indicators. Importantly, gas detectors such as Blackline’s G7 wireless gas detector, should be considered as they alert live monitoring personnel of worker H2S gas exposure. Lone worker protection devices with a fast response time and sturdy construction are important for use in harsh environments where H2S may occur. Additionally, as H2S may desensitise and render the body unconscious in no time at high concentrations, connected personal monitoring equipment is crucial.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) to H2S gas as follows:

  • General Industry Ceiling Limit: 20 ppm
  • General Industry Peak Limit: 50 ppm (up to 10 minutes if no other exposure during shift)
  • Construction 8-hour Limit: 10 ppm
  • Shipyard 8-hour limit: 10 ppm

TREATMENT

Those exposed to H2S gas should remove themselves from the toxic environment immediately. Rescuers need to take caution when approaching victims who cannot evacuate independently, as to not be harmed themselves by H2S exposure. Respiratory protection is recommended when entering an H2S environment, as is a safety line, because of the very rapid toxic effects of the gas. There are no proven antidotes to H2S gas poisoning, but side-effects and symptoms can be treated or managed. In serious cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recommends you call your doctor or visit emergency should you develop any unusual side effects or symptoms within 24 hours:

  • Coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Stomach pain, vomiting
  • Headache­
  • Increased redness, pain or pus from the area of a skin burn

It is important to remain vigilant and avoid complacency with your safety program. Gas detection equipment must be calibrated regularly and frequently bump tested.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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PORTABLE GAS DETECTION — 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT OUR NEW G7

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PORTABLE GAS DETECTION — 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT OUR NEW G7

HOW IS G7 CHANGING THE GAME?

Every major gas detection company creates portable gas detection solutions in much the same way — a collection of sensors that detect gas levels and display the readings on an LCD. If a hazardous environment is detected, the body-worn device emits an alarm sound and flashes its lights to call out to nearby coworkers.

Gas detection has not dramatically improved the status quo compared to systems launched half a decade ago, or longer. The current push in the industry is for a long-lasting battery life so the device can last for two-years and then be disposed of when both the battery and sensors run out. Convenient? Sure. Revolutionary? No. But what’s worse is that each these detectors will try in vain to call for help when no one nearby. This means that you can have a man down and no one knows any better in order to deliver help.

We’re here to solve this problem and we’ve innovated in the gas detection industry before. Blackline Safety has developed G7, the world’s first turnkey, work-anywhere wirelessly connected safety system with expandable gas detection. We’re not one-upping the other guys with more minor improvements — we offer a whole new suite that gives your workers complete safety awareness, in any situation, for an instant response.

We’ve already started to touch on the ground-breaking capability of G7 but let’s look more closely at five ways it’s changing up the portable gas detection game.

1. REAL-TIME CONNECTIVITY AND ALERTING

We offer two models of G7, one that incorporates 2G/3G cellular communications and the other with Iridium satellite communications. Together, G7 delivers true work-anywhere wireless communications that doesn’t rely on expensive Wi-Fi networks or a separate device with Bluetooth wireless communications.

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The second that gas levels reach a hazardous concentration, the employee-worn G7 alerts the user using bright alarm lights and a loud audible alarm. G7 instantly communicates alerts to our Blackline Live monitoring portal and the live monitoring team. Blackline offers 24/7 Safety Operation Centre live monitoring while some customers have a control room or dedicated team members who can own this responsibility.

If an H2S leak occurs, G7 ensures that your teams have the complete picture. You can confidently send in a prepared response team with the proper safety gear, to the right location. By mapping the employee’s location on a map, your team can make the difference by saving precious minutes in emergency response time. And by geo-referencing every on-site gas reading, our G7 heat-map gas reading reports help you identify minor leaks before they become future problems.

2. AUTOMATIC AND FULL COMPLIANCE REPORTING

With traditional portable gas detection, collecting logs and proving compliance is a manual and tedious process. We don’t use SD cards, Ethernet cords or IR ports. G7 communicates all calibration logs and bump tests automatically and wirelessly to your user account, where you can easily review usage, exposure, and maintenance activity for each device. Bumps and calibrations are effortlessly handled and reported by the device, while efficiently using valuable calibration gas.

Compliance reports also highlight your employee’s use of equipment, helping you to ensure that employees not only use monitoring devices but that they use equipment correctly and conscientiously. G7 reports deliver green-yellow-red insights that highlights when everything is in compliance, when something is approaching out of compliance and when an item needs your immediate attention.

3. OVER-THE-AIR WIRELESS DEVICE CONFIGURATION AND FIRMWARE UPDATES

When you log into the Blackline Live portal, you have complete control over how to configure every safety monitoring device. Create G7 configuration profiles to customise device behaviours for each employee role and scenario. Device configurations ensure that no G7 is mis-configured — create separate profiles as needed, such as for operators, instrumentation techs and heavy-duty mechanics. Even if a device is powered off, it will automatically download the a new configuration upon connection to the Blackline Safety Network.

Configure all G7 safety settings including man down detection, fall detection, high and low-gas alert levels, time-weighted average (TWA) and short-term exposure limits (STEL). When you save the changes, the Blackline Safety network automatically updates all devices associated with that profile.. Similarly, Blackline Live features Alert Profiles that configures the response to each alert according to your business’ custom emergency response protocol.

At Blackline Safety, we continuously improve our solutions. When we deploy G7 product improvements through firmware updates, these occur wirelessly, seamlessly and automatically over-the-air. If a device happens to be off, when it connects to the Blackline Safety Network, it downloads new firmware and manages the update. We want to make your job easier and ensure safety for your workers around the clock.

4. PORTABLE GAS DETECTION WITH INTERCHANGEABLE SENSOR CARTRIDGES

G7 devices feature easily removable and replaceable portable gas detection cartridges — no need to take equipment out of the field, causing downtime and potentially interrupting employee monitoring programs either. Choose between a Standard Cartridge, Single-gas Cartridge or Quad-gas Cartridge and select the gas sensors that meet your requirements. Our current line of gases include H2S (hydrogen sulfide), LEL (lower explosive limit of combustible gases), CO (carbon monoxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide), O2 (oxygen) and NH3 (ammonia). If your teams’ need shift in the future, rest assured that you can repurpose G7 equipment with new cartridges easily and cost-effectively.

With G7, never pay to replace gas sensors again. When a sensor reaches the end of its life, we will send you a new, pre-calibrated cartridge automatically as part of your service program. Your portable gas detection fleet never has to experience any downtime while saving you time and money.

5. FUTURE EXPANSION

G7 offers many new features and capabilities, but a key G7 innovation is its cartridge-based interface. in this article, we spoke a lot about our portable gas detection cartridges. Our Standard Cartridge is a great example of how G7 is designed to support other applications, including plant evacuation management and lone working scenarios. We have other cartridges in our roadmap and we work tirelessly to deliver maximum value to our customers. We’re driven by customer feedback — let us know what challenges that we can help you solve through G7 expansion. 

Subscribe to our blog to be notified of future blog articles — next up, we will cover our 24/7 Safety Operations Centre and Alarm Receiving Centre live monitoring partners.

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