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Crowcon Detection Instruments provides advice on the most suitable gas detectors for operators working in confined spaces.

The worker’s gas detector should be designed specifically for confined-space entry (CSE) applications, be unobtrusive and have a clear display that is easy to see at a glance.

According to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) a confined space is defined as ’any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other similar space, in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there arises a reasonably foreseeable risk’.

This definition covers just about any industrial activity but is especially applicable to the utilities industries (water and wastewater, electricity, telecommunications and gas), construction, hydrocarbon exploration and processing, petrochemicals, marine applications, agriculture, food processing, wine making and brewing and emergency services.

While the best advice is, if at all possible, to avoid entering confined spaces, this is not always an option.

In the above-mentioned industries, there will always be occasions when workers or emergency-services personnel need to enter potentially dangerous areas to carry out inspections, routine maintenance, emergency repairs or rescues.

There is a range of equipment required for CSE environments and the supply industry is well developed, with a range of personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety equipment available.

The one area of CSE where improvement is needed and where compromises have, to date, always had to be made is gas detection.

Users of gas detectors have typically had to make a choice between large pumped units, small diffusion models or models with ’parasitic’ pumps, which are easily lost or damaged.

Handheld detectors that measure a wider range of gases tend to have front-mount displays and are usually optimised for leak location or ’hot work’ permit issue, rather than being suitable for CSE work.

According to Crowcon, the ’ideal’ CSE gas detector must: be simple to use; have a bright, easy-to-read display; have a long battery life (for at least one full shift, and preferably two); feature robust construction; and deliver reliable detection.

The company’s Gas-Pro detector is claimed to be suitable for CSE applications to comply with hazardous-area and health-and-safety standards.

It is compact and comparable in size to front-mount diffusion detectors.

In addition, it is designed so as not to get in the way of other PPE and accessories nor to interfere with the worker’s primary activity.

The detector features a bright, clear, top-mount display that can be read at a glance without having to touch the detector.

A dual-colour backlight adds an extra level of alert should the Gas-Pro enter alarm status.

An internal pump means that pre-entry testing can be carried out quickly and easily.

This also keeps the size of the detector small and removes the problems of poor sealing or the need for extra equipment and chargers associated with parasitic pumps.

The status of detectors is becoming more and more important to fleet managers.

Health and safety executives around the world (OSHA, HSE and Safework Australia, for example) are introducing and making more stringent the guidelines and regulations released to ensure worker safety.

The Gas-Pro features a function called +ve Safety, which provides tri-colour status indication, enabling the quick and effective monitoring of gas test (bump), calibration, over-range and recent-alarm notification.

Crowcon claims that, not only is +ve Safety flexible enough to meet individual company regulations, the indication light is visible to all, offering the fleet manager a quick, simple, yet comprehensive visible indication of monitor status, unlike standard bump test indications or confidence flashes.

The new detection includes multiple gas sensors for up to five potentially hazardous gases from a wide range, including hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen and flammable gases, as well as industry-specific gases such as ozone, ammonia, chlorine, chlorine dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

In addition, the Gas-Pro has IP65 and IP67 ingress protection with a loud >95dB alarm as well as vibrating and dual-colour visual warnings as standard.

Crowcon Detection Instruments

Crowcon Detection Instruments specialises in the development, manufacture, sale and support of flammable and toxic gas detection equipment. For over 40 years and all around the globe, our products are relied upon to protect people and plant against gas hazards, from oil platforms to steel mills and water treatment works to automobile manufacturers.

Headquartered in the UK and with our own significant local facilities in  Erlanger, USA, Singapore, China and the Netherlands supported by carefully selected distributors, we are proud to uphold our reputation for reliability, technological innovation and equipment that is properly suited to its task.

Crowcon products are sold throughout the world, serving oil, gas and petrochemical companies, public utilities, clean water and sewage treatment companies, fire brigades, construction companies and other organisations where accidental leakage of gas or vapour can become a toxic or explosive danger.

Crowcon has been a part of the Halma Group since 1985. Halma is listed on the Midcap London Stock Exchange (FTSE 350) and is recognised as one of the most successful engineering groups in the world.

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