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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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BLACKLINE SAFETY EXPANDS EVACUATION TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES

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BLACKLINE SAFETY EXPANDS EVACUATION TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES

LONER® SAFETY MONITORING TECHNOLOGY TO INCLUDE REAL-TIME EVACUATION MANAGEMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES

“Launching in July, Blackline’s evacuation capability will operate completely independent of a site’s power and communications infrastructure — including indoor location technology,” says Gavin Boorman, Managing Director of Blackline Safety Europe. “Supporting our new employee-worn Loner M6 device, this evacuation system is the first of its kind to blend 3G communications, voice calling, two-way text messaging and real-time employee tracking throughout a facility.”

All customers can take advantage of this new evacuation management functionality — including those who self-monitor or are monitored by Blackline’s Safety Operation Center (SOC) and Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) partners.

“From natural disasters to security threats and process failures — emergency situations can happen anytime and affect anyone at any given location,” says Sean Stinson, VP Sales & Product Management of Blackline Safety. “In order to efficiently manage the situation, it’s crucial for an employer to quickly notify all affected personnel, initiate their evacuation and actively manage the process to ensure that everyone is accounted for at muster points or other safe locations.”

Creation of Blackline’s evacuation technology was inspired by customer requirements. The Canadian subsidiary of Cermaq Group AS deployed Blackline’s Loner Bridge System across their salmon farms on the West Coast of Canada. “We looked at several solutions that would let us instantly notify our workers about tsunamis and other potentially life-threatening situations, and allow them to quickly evacuate to a safe location,” says Dave Samson, Cermaq Canada’s occupational health and safety officer.

Blackline’s SOC and ARC partners initiate evacuations for clients and monitor employees’ progress in reaching muster points and designated safe areas. Employee-worn Loner M6 devices initiate a TeamAlert™ that includes an audible and visual alarm plus a voice recording that provides critical evacuation instructions. Similarly, employee-worn Loner 900 devices initiate a TeamAlert where a yellow indicator light instructs employees to return to their Loner Bridge device for important evacuation instructions via two-way text messaging.

Loner M6 and Loner 900 include GPS location technology for use outdoors and are compatible with Blackline’s indoor location beacon technology. Every employee’s location is updated in real-time on an interactive Google™ map within Blackline’s Live monitoring account. Custom floor and site plans can be imported into Blackline Live and provide valuable situational awareness — evacuation routes, muster points and safe areas can be highlighted on top of the Google Map. Blackline’s Live monitoring account pin-points employee locations every step of the way during the evacuation — including any personnel who may otherwise be left behind. With real-time situational knowledge, a rescue can be proactively managed, bringing everyone out to safe locations.

Blackline is demonstrating its safety monitoring solutions at the Safety & Health Expo, located at stand M1915 at the ExCeL London. Blackline’s broad portfolio of safety monitoring solutions empowers organisations in all industries and geographic locations with real-time incident awareness and management capability.

POSTED BY KELLY MEYERS | JUNE 22, 2016 

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LONE WORKER SAFETY — THE PROFITABLE THING TO DO

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LONE WORKER SAFETY — THE PROFITABLE THING TO DO

INVESTING IN YOUR EMPLOYEES

Over the last few decades, developed countries have been part of a concrete legislative and social push toward improving lone worker safety standards for employees in the workplace. Employers are responsible for providing safe and secure workplaces for their personnel.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) under the U.S. Department of Labor, “Establishing a safety and health program to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses is not only the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do. Studies have shown a $4 to $6 return for every dollar invested in safety and health.”

OSHA also indicates “only about 30 percent of businesses have established safety and health programs. About half of the 95 million workers who would be covered under an OSHA safety and health program standard don’t have that protection today.”

Understanding that every dollar spent offers a return of up to six times the original cost supports the importance of investing in safety.

When safety becomes the top priority, traditional safety programs are maximised and safety monitoring technology is implemented, industry will have done the best it can to ensure that every employee returns home safely each day. Every organisation has the power to make that happen.

Find out how your organisation can reduce costs, save money and learn more about the ROI from investing in lone worker safety monitoring solutionsDownload the infographic today.

POSTED BY KELLY MEYERS | JUNE 21, 2016 | BLACKLINE WORKPLACE SAFETY

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HOW AUTOMATED EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS LONE WORKERS & YOUR BOTTOM LINE

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HOW AUTOMATED EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS LONE WORKERS & YOUR BOTTOM LINE

AUTOMATED EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN TECHNOLOGY

If one of your lone workers fails to check in, how long will it take to find your employee and deliver help—potentially hours after the incident occurred??

In our last few posts we have explored the benefits of three important lone worker monitoring features—Blackline’s True Fall Detection® technology, our man down / no-motion detection technology and SureSafe™ and LiveResponse™ technology.

Our suite of Loner® work-alone devices have an additional, automated feature: automated employee check-in capability. Many of our customers use check-in technology as an additional layer of automation to support fall detection and man-down alert capability in some work-alone scenarios.

But aren’t employee check-ins passé? The quick answer is yes and no. Read on to learn how a modern check-in product feature can differ from old-school processes and increase the value to your organization.

OLD-SCHOOL, MANUAL CHECK-INS ARE COSTLY

Traditional check-in processes require all lone workers to periodically cease their work and manage a check-in. Your businesses must balance the scheduled interruption with the need for productivity.

These check-ins require the employee to call a co-worker, colleague who is on call, supervisor and even a call center or automated phone system. Regardless of who performs the monitoring function, your business is losing valuable productivity during the time it takes for the employee to check in—both the lone worker and the other party receiving the call. Such manual processes are not acceptable in our Information Age where businesses are required to ‘do more with less.’

One of the more dangerous activities that your lone workers may face is pulling over on a busy road to check in.

MANUAL CHECK-INS ARE INEFFECTIVE

Compounding the situation, manual check-in systems are limited in their capability to efficiently detect an incident. A two-hour check-in respects your business’s bottom line with less frequent interruption but also leaves a large window for risk for lone workers.

An employee working alone—who needs help—may go unnoticed for up to two hours. Your employee could be virtually anywhere on your site or between sites during this two-hour period. How long then will it take to find the employee to deliver needed assistance? When the employee is found, it may only be a false alarm, but then even more productivity is lost.

MODERN CHECK-INS

Lone worker-worn technology eliminates the drain on value delivered by your lone workers and and supervisors while dramatically increasing capability for rapid incident detection, employee locating and response management.

Blackline’s lone worker monitoring devices and iOS / Android smartphone safety app provide a configurable check-in timer that confirms the employee’s well-being according to a regular schedule—and without degrading worker and supervisor productivity.

CHECKING IN

Blackline’s work-alone devices offer employees a couple of options to check in. The first is responding to a check-in request—the Loner device uses an audible, visual and tactile local alarm to call for the employee to check in. Checking in easy and quick—with the simple press inward of the red emergency latch—an action that can be performed confidently without looking.

 

The second option of checking in can be performed proactively, before a scheduled check-in request occurs. Some tasks require full attention. With an early check-in, the employee resets the check-in timer, providing the full amount of time to perform duties without the audible, visual and tactile request occurring until the next scheduled interval.

FAILING TO CHECK IN

A visual, audible and tactile local alarm requests the employee to check in. The default check-in request period provides 30 seconds for the employee to check in. This timer can be configured over-the-air through an update to the device configuration profile within the monitoring account.

If the lone worker is unable to check in before the end of the check-in request period, a missed check-in alert is communicated through wireless communications to the Blackline Safety Network. This alert is distributed to specified individuals within the organization according to the alert profile and the alert is managed by monitoring personnel through to resolution.

AVOIDING TIME-WASTING FALSE ALARMS

We have recently discussed our new Loner M6 Series’ two-way voice communications capability that enables monitoring personnel to communicate with the lone worker directly. This functionality eliminates the expense related to sending out the search team to find a lone worker who has failed to check in manually.

Similarly, our Loner Bridge System for remote lone worker monitoring features two-way text messaging that allows monitoring personnel to communicate directly with lone workers.

SERVER SYNCHRONIZED CHECK-INS

Blackline’s lone worker devices, the Loner M6 Series and Loner Bridge System, each incorporate server-synchronized check-ins. Awareness of the next scheduled check-in exists both within the lone worker device and within the Blackline Safety Network—our core safety monitoring infrastructure.

If an employee’s Loner device is damaged, the battery drains or the device moves beyond wireless coverage, safety monitoring personnel are notified when the employee fails to check in next.

MORE FREQUENT CHECK-INS ARE VIABLE

Some work alone scenarios feature increased risk and for these situations a more frequent check-in interval may be warranted. But more frequent manual checkins may result in too much of a productivity drain for the lone worker and supervisor.

Blackline’s lone worker devices provide the option of a more frequent check-in without impacting productivity. A check-in interval of 15 minutes is viable, requiring only a momentary button-press to check in.

AROUND-THE-CLOCK SAFETY MONITORING

Blackline’s in-house Safety Operations Centre, and our Alarm Receiving Centre partners in the United Kingdom and Pacific, delivers 24/7 live monitoring of lone workers Worldwide.

CONTACT US

Do you have the right program in place to deliver a real-time, location-based emergency response for your lone workers when a slip, trip or fall occurs?

Let’s talk about how we can help elevate your current safety monitoring program. Connect with us today to book your free demonstration.

 POSTED BY BRENDON COOK | APRIL 12, 2016 | BLACKLINE SAFETY

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