When there is the potential for hazardous substances to be present, it’s essential that you have a system in place to detect and monitor them. This is where fixed and portable gas detectors come into play. If you’re leaning more towards the portable option, you might be wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are. In this article, we have outlined some of the main points to be aware of when using this sort of detector in your workplace.
There are a number of advantages associated with the use of portable gas detectors, including:
- They are carried around by an individual worker, which means that their exposure over the course of the day (as opposed to their exposure within a single area) is charted.
- The device will sound an audible alarm, flash LED lights and, in some cases, vibrate when a hazardous substance above an acceptable limit is detected. There is no chance it will be missed.
- These devices are often used to locate the exact point of a leak, as you’re able to move them around and watch as the substance levels rise or fall (to indicate how close you are to the source).
- These detectors are ideal for monitoring in smaller areas, such as confined space. These sorts of areas are especially dangerous, so you can rest assured that you’ll know what’s in there.
- These devices go where the worker goes, so you can rest assured that the entire workplace is covered. A leak could occur in an obscure or seldom used area where you don’t have a fixed unit.
There are also a few disadvantages associated with the use of these detectors, including:
- They are only able to monitor for hazardous substances when the detector is on, warmed up and the battery is charged. It needs to warm up each and every time it’s switched on.
- The combinations of sensor types can be limited when compared with those available for fixed devices. The types available, however, are more than enough to meet your needs.
- Bump testing is recommended before each use. Whilst this is a quick and simple process, it can seem a bit tedious when you consider that fixed devices only need to be bump tested monthly.
- Heavier substances (which tend to congregate just inches above the floor) and lighter ones (which tend to gather overhead) may not be detected until the concentration levels are serious.
- These devices are more likely to experience wear and tear or even damage as a result of human negligence and the fact that they’re physically moved around (instead of left alone).
We hope that the above list of advantages and disadvantages has convinced you whether portable gas detectors are the best choice for your monitoring needs or whether you’d be better off with a fixed device. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that both types of detector will work to improve the safety of your workers so it doesn’t always matter which one you select. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with an expert.