Best Practices for Calibration and Testing of Portable Gas Detectors in Hazardous Environments
Safety is a top priority in any hazardous environment where gas may pose a risk to human life. Portable gas detectors have become an essential tool for ensuring that workers in such environments are always aware of the amount of potentially hazardous gas that surrounds them. Calibration and testing of portable gas detectors are essential to ensure their reliability. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for calibrating and testing portable gas detectors in hazardous environments.
What is Calibration?
Calibration is the process of adjusting a gas detector to ensure that it measures accurately and reliably. It involves comparing the gas detector's readings against a known gas concentration. This process helps the user to ensure that the gas detector is accurately measuring the concentration of the gas of interest.
Why is Calibration Required?
After prolonged use, portable gas detectors can drift from their original calibration settings. Collecting dust particles, humidity, exposure to extreme temperature variations or physical shocks are factors that can lead to the gas detector's inaccurate functioning. Calibration is necessary to ensure that the readings from the gas detector are reliable. It also ensures that the detector complies with safety regulations and standards.
Best Practices for Calibration and Testing
It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when calibrating and testing portable gas detectors. Here are some additional best practices to follow:
Select the correct calibration gas: Use the correct calibration gas to ensure that the detector's sensor responds accurately to the targeted gas. Always use a certified calibration gas supplier.
Establish a calibration schedule: Calibrate the portable gas detector according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule or more frequently if indicated by any operational issues, errors or changes in the work environment.
Conduct testing after calibration: After calibrating the gas detector, testing should be performed before returning the instrument to service. This ensures that the calibration was successful in returning accurate readings.
Conduct bump testing: Conduct bump testing at the start of each use for portable gas detectors. Bump testing exposes the detector to a known gas concentration for a brief period and confirms that it alarm functions and sensors are working correctly.
Document calibration and testing: Record all calibration and testing actions for each detector, including gas mixture concentration, date, and results in case the information is needed as proof of its last calibration.
Calibrating and testing portable gas detectors are critical procedures that ensure the safety of workers. By following best practices, the chances of an accident happening in a hazardous environment are significantly reduced. Calibration schedule, gas mixture concentration, testing after calibration, and documenting the calibration and tests are all essential to ensure the device is functional and in compliance with safety regulations. Remember to always follow your manufacturer's guidelines for calibration and testing, which are fundamental to maintaining the safety of your team on the job.