Handheld gas monitors come into their own when your workers need to be constantly aware of gas-based threats in confined spaces such as sewers, boiler rooms, mines, industrial sites, and other restricted areas. Your employees may be required to carry the units for hours at a time, so when purchasing a gas monitor for your business it’s important to factor in ergonomics and ease of use. Let’s go through some of the key ergonomic factors that you should consider when choosing a portable gas detector.
Are the gas monitor’s controls easy to use?
Consider how easy it is for the employee to reach the buttons without either straining their hand or covering up the display. Nor should the buttons require a lot of effort to press.
The gas monitor’s size and shape
Generally speaking, these days gas detectors are generally handheld by the employee working in the confined space. Therefore, when procuring gas monitors you should take into account the ergonomics—your employee will be holding this for long periods of time, so it makes sense to make this as comfortable as possible for them. Ideally, your hand should be able to hold and grip the gas detector without being strained—if the employee’s hand is continually being strained this can lead to fatigue.
The gas monitor’s weight.
If your employee is going to be carrying around the gas detector for long periods of time, you might want to consider a gas monitor that is a relatively low weight so that it’s practical to be handheld and doesn’t cause fatigue in your employee’s arms and hands. However, there are circumstances when heavier equipment may be necessary, as we'll see in the next paragraph.
What areas do you need to access?
However, in cases where an employee needs to take samples from sunken areas, you may need to use a gas monitor with a pump. This allows the equipment to be dropped into a lower area without requiring the employee to climb in and out. The trade-off here is heavier equipment to reduce the risks of falling and strain from climbing.
The gas monitor’s display
When operating in a confined space, it’s vitally important that the display on your gas monitor is easy-to-read and constantly visible. You should take into account environmental factors that may impair your workers’ ability to read the gas monitor display, such as how legible it will be if you are wearing fogged-up glasses. Make sure the gas monitor has a clear screen resolution and a large, clear display. Remember to take into account that you may require the gas monitor to display multiple readings, such as gas codes, gas readings, bar charts, and other elements. It makes sense to invest in good screen protectors too, and your portable gas detectors will be subject to bumps and scratches during their working life.
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the various ergonomic factors that you should consider when choosing what gas monitor to choose for your business. As mentioned, your employees may be required to hold portable gas detectors for extended periods of time so it’s important that they are not only easy-to-use, but that they cause the least amount of strain on their hands and arms as possible.
At Gaslines Ltd, our team has decades of experience in supplying, hiring, and servicing gas monitors for industries all across Ireland. If you’re unsure about what gas monitor is right for your business, please feel free to get in touch. You can call us on 0402 32116 or fill out the contact form here.