On the morning of March 23, James Jones reported for work at the local oil refinery the same way he had done routinely for the last 17 years. JJ, as he was known by his co-workers, put on his coveralls, grabbed his hard hat and glasses, picked up his hazardous gas monitor data, bump tested it, and headed out to inspect the numerous valves he was assigned to check out that day.
Being fully aware of the gas hazards associated with the refinery, particularly H2S, but having never personally had a bad encounter with gas during his time in the plant, JJ believed that gas accidents only came to those who didn’t know what they were doing. That day, and the next few days, seemed to flow normally, but the next week, after JJ docked his monitor for calibration and data download, the refinery safety manager received a data alert based on JJ’s monitor that read like this (Chart 1):
When the safety director interviewed JJ, trying to determine the root cause of the alarm, he indicated that he did not recall his instrument alarming that day and did not know exactly where he was at that time.
This scenario occurs routinely when attempting to analyze gas monitor data. The information you have regarding gas exposures and potentially hazardous conditions can be tremendously helpful, but the lack of information that specifically reveals where the conditions existed often leaves you in the dark. How can you proactively fix a problem when you don’t know where it occurred?
Gas detection users have long asked for the ability to tie location information to the data in their gas detector. Whether it is for the purpose of tracking hazard locations or simply for helping to find a lost monitor, location data plays a vital role in completing the data picture. The question usually comes in the form of, “Does your gas detector have a GPS?”