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How Connecting Workers and Devices Helps Boost Gas Detection Systems

Gas Detection
Gas Detection

How Connecting Workers and Devices Helps Boost Gas Detection Systems

Protecting workers and properties is paramount in industries operating with hazardous gases. Gas leaks are invisible and often odorless, especially when operations take place in the open air. Their detection is the focus of safety managers and site emergency response managers, and it usually involves detection devices, monitoring software, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and extensive training and procedures.

Many industries operate in hazardous environments, and their personnel is at risk of being exposed to harmful gases. For industries such as Oil and Gas, Mining, Refineries, Utilities, Shipping, Construction, and many others, detecting gas leaks is important because they can lead to serious personnel injuries and significant property damage. And in situations involving hazardous gases, it’s critical to respond quickly to any incident, from detecting gas leaks as they happen to making informed decisions and mitigating risks where possible.

What is a layered approach to gas leak protection?

Top priority for plant managers and safety managers is identifying and implementing the detection system most appropriate for their job site. Gas may be toxic and/or highly combustible, so working with it or around it could put workers in high-risk situations. If they come in extensive contact with certain gas types and levels, workers can suffer serious injuries, which can range from headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, to asphyxiation and even death.

The statistics show that gas leak incidents are not as rare as they may seem. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that, for 2019, there were 642 fatal occupational injuries from exposure to harmful substances or environments and 99 fatalities from fires and explosions.

To enhance safety on the job site, a comprehensive gas detection system should be chosen by site management based on the specifics of the operations, the application, the topology of the site, and the needs of the workers. Often, the detection system is comprised of a combination of point detector technology, open-path technology, and acoustic gas detectors. This layered approach to protection provides different methods of detection that can help site management with its worksite safety plan.

Companies are constantly on the lookout for new technologies and devices to add to their detection systems, to enhance their workers’ safety and their properties’ protection. But new technologies can be quite expensive to implement from scratch and require extensive personnel training.

However, despite the complexity of a gas detection ecosystem, the enhancement of worker safety doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. What is needed is the right tool to monitor in real-time workers’ exposure to hazardous gases, connecting the existing detection infrastructure and reusing its elements, for a cost-effective solution.

A connected solution from Honeywell & Motorola

The Honeywell & Motorola Connected Safety Solution can connect certain existing operational site elements, without adding extra costs for infrastructure or training. What it can add to a gas detection system is a connected safety solution that provides real-time awareness based on portable gas detectors that, if gas levels increase, alerts will be triggered to notify that an intervention is needed. 

Basically, while on the job site, each worker has a personal gas detector and a radio for communications. With Honeywell and Motorola Connected Safety Solution the gas detectors are connected to the radio via Bluetooth, which enables real-time monitoring of detector readings.

Honeywell gas detectors can “speak” to Motorola communication devices via a Bluetooth® LE (Low Energy) connection. The detectors send sensor and alert data, which the radio transmits via the MOTOTRBO™ communication system and the Motorola Sensor Service API, to the Honeywell Safety Suite application. Then, the Safety Suite application can be prompted to alert other radios of the incident.

If, for example, the gas detector of one of the workers on the team goes into alarm because it has detected a hazardous gas, the data is broadcast wirelessly to a safety monitoring team, through the connection with the Motorola radio. The safety monitoring team can use the same connection to broadcast a message to the connected group of workers, instructing them to take action, depending on the nature and severity of the incident. The workers all get the alert at the same time and can act quickly after the original gas hazard is detected, according to their site safety procedures.

The Honeywell & Motorola Connected Safety Solution provides:

- Communications infrastructure without extra running costs – Workers' safety may be dependent on a consumer cellular service that could falter during critical moments. The MOTOTRBO™ communications system is a private communications system that helps workers stay connected through a single, HAZLOC certified device.

- Quick and Simple Response to Emergency - Real-time information and the ability to message/communicate with workers, including through preset notifications via email and SMS messaging. For example, if a worker enters a hazardous gas environment, the safety team receives an alert and can notify the rescue team to be prepared.

- Connected communication - In Honeywell’s Connected Safety Suite, workers can be grouped together, so when an incident happens, instructions can be sent to the group at the same time.

- Compliance with regulatory and safety standards - The Connected Safety Suite gets notified of devices that have not been tested or calibrated within their required period. This can help site management as they monitor compliance with regulations and safety standards.

Find out more about the Honeywell & Motorola Connected Safety Solution and the ways in which it integrates hazardous environment sensing technology and communications infrastructure to help enhance worker safety and reduce costs.

 

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