In some industries and workplaces, workers are exposed daily to machinery that operates with potentially deadly gases, and some of these gases can’t be detected with the human nose. Gas detectors are in place to maintain safety, but even these devices can fail sometimes, so calibration gases keep the detectors in good shape and working accurately to maintain workplace safety. Buying and using safety gas is key, as well as its proper use.
Calibration Gas at Work
What is calibration gas? Put simply, it’s a control group used to keep gas detectors working accurately to detect toxic gases at the workplace. According to Safeopedia, calibration gases are most commonly used at workplaces such as pulp and paper mills, refineries, petrochemical plants, and pharmaceutical facilities. The gas is always maintained at an exact composition to act as a reference point for calibrating gas detectors, and various national and international standard dictate what these exact specifications should be.
The United States has a massive industry for gas, necessitating the purchase of calibration gas bottles to make sure detectors at the workplace are giving off accurate readings. In fact, one fourth of all primary energy in the United States comes from natural gas, and some 66.7 million American homes are powered by gases, not to mention an estimated 5.4 million businesses. On average, an American home will use up to 196 cubic feet of gas, and the huge gas industry employs some three million people. Up to 83% of this natural gas is drawn from reservoirs, and the natural gas used in American homes and business can be up to 92% efficient. This powerful energy source has a big market, which grows 2% every year worldwide and may overtake coal by 2030. There is plenty of gas being used, so well calibrated gas detectors are vital to ensure workplace safety, and specialty gas suppliers can provide calibration gas to keep those sensors accurate.
When is the best time to use calibration gas? There are no hard and fast universal rules, but some guidelines have been set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. For one thing, workers at a factory or other workplace are urged to test their sensors daily before work by using calibration gas as a functional test, and any device that fails this test will need a full calibration at once. Workplaces with extremes such as heat, pressure, or electricity should have their devices tested and calibrated even more vigorously, since these environmental conditions can affect the sensors more heavily than a neutral workplace would. Workplaces that fail to maintain these safety standards and tests could even be subjected to fines and increased rates of workplace accidents, so regular, quality testing with disposable calibration gas is the best option.
Even the calibration gas itself must be up to certain standards. The gas’s cylinder will mark its origins and quality, and workers should check the labels to make sure that they are holding a proper product. The gas must not be out of date and expired, or else it is useless, and a certificate of analysis promises that the gas is up to the standards for work. Gas that is missing one of both of these things could end up doing more harm than good.