Exposure limits and worker safety: Choosing the right personal or portable gas detector
Worker health and safety laws have come a long way in recent years. Even in the last few decades introductions of PPE (personal protective equipment), safer working conditions, and limits on exposure to dangerous chemicals and gases have become commonplace. A key part of being able to ensure these safety regulations are being met is through accurate and regular gas monitoring. ION Science offer world-leading VOC gas instruments that help keep workers safe and healthy both during their working life and long after.
Effective management of VOC (volatile organic compound) exposure on workers is critical for any business where there is a short-term or long-term risk to health (in some cases, both). Monitoring through STEL and TWA (short term exposure limit and time weighted average respectively) is a good way of ensuring workers are not being exposed unnecessarily. It’s also important to provide employees with personal gas detection so they are safe in the event of an unregistered leak or industrial accident. This is particularly important for lone workers, or in those operating in confined spaces where it’s harder to call for help.
Using PID (photoionisation detection) technology in personal and portable gas monitors is the most effective way to help protect workers from harmful VOC exposure. As experts in the development and manufacture of PID solutions, ION Science offer a range of industry-leading personal and portable gas detectors.
Depending on the industry application and the type of VOC to be monitored, the legally permitted workplace exposure limit (WEL) will vary. Having a fast and accurate response factor time is critical to ensure workers are not exposed more than necessary. ION Science’s Tiger handheld portable gas detector offers the fastest response factor time on the market, able to detect and respond to VOCs in 2 seconds. It is ideal for use in laboratories, clean rooms, leak detection and land contamination.
The Tiger is available with a 10.6 eV sensor or 11.7 eV option and has a dynamic detection range of PPM and PPB. It is also available as the Tiger Select (benzene specific monitoring) and the Tiger LT (an essentials-only version of the Tiger). All versions of the Tiger have a 24-hour battery life and are fully rechargeable. With its anti-contamination and humidity resistant design, the PID sensor in the Tiger can operate at maximum capacity with no interference. It is also designed to be operated one handed and has a large keypad and back-lit screen to make use in low-light even easier. All these user interface features have been added to make the Tiger excellent for VOC detection, but also easy to use in multiple environments and applications to promote improved safety monitoring.
For protecting long-term worker health, PID gas detectors are much more sensitive than LEL (lower explosive limit) alternatives. Many VOCs can cause serious long term health issues (including cancers) even if exposure at the time was only minor. Protecting people against small exposures over a long period of time is more effective than only protecting them in the event of a large-scale leak or accident, as an LEL would.
Personal gas detection devices that use PID, such as ION Science’s Cub, are an ideal way of protecting staff against VOC exposure. The Cub is designed to be worn on the person within the breathing zone to deliver maximum protection against VOCs. It is available in 10.0 eV, 10.6 eV and 11.7 eV options, allowing for a wide range of VOC detection. The 10.0 and 10.6 versions have a rapid response time of sub 13 seconds, while the 11.7 is even quicker, at sub 11 seconds. All versions are lightweight, have a 12-hour continuous use battery life, and are certified to ATEX and IECEx. Three alarms (audio, light and vibration) alert the wearer in the event of VOC limits being exceeded, and the Cub can operate in 0 - 55 °C, ideal for most environments where workers would be present.
ION Science are continuously researching and developing new ways to use PID technology to protect workers from harmful VOC exposure. The Cub and The Tiger are just two of the ways in which ION Science are helping keep workers safe by using fast response times and accurate detection.