Environics USA, 'Calibrate or Die' Whitepaper

While the title of this white-paper may seem severe, the importance of calibration for handheld gas and vapor detectors cannot be under-emphasized because many gas sensors fail to an unsafe state. A Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) combustible gas sensor indicates a safe atmosphere when it reads zero but when it fails it also reads zero. A Chlorine (Cl2) sensor indicates a safe atmosphere when it reads zero but when it fails it also reads zero. While some sensors, like oxygen usually fail to a safe or alarming state, they too can benefit from calibration to restore their accuracy. The only way to assure that many sensors are working correctly is to apply a gas to them to “calibrate” them.

OSHA’s Positionon Calibration In 29CFR1910.146 (the “Confined Space” standard) OSHA requires the use of a “calibrated” instrument. OSHA’s guidance letter CPL 2.100 OSHA says that the instrument must be maintained and calibrated according to manufacturer guidelines. Calibrationentifies loss of sensitivity, failing or failed sensors.

Calibration Guards Against Loss of Sensitivity Sensors can age, dry out and fail. They can be damaged by shocks, drops or exposure to liquids from immersion or when the detector’s pump sucks up liquids. Sensors can be poisoned by chemicals present in the atmosphere or lose sensitivity from innumerable other causes.

Calibration Improves User Confidence Gas detectors are a “Flashlight” allowing people to “see” toxic gases and flammable vapors. You wouldn’t go into a dark basement without checking the operation of your flashlight. Don’t go into a “dark” confined space or other potential dangerous atmosphere without checking the operation of your detector. Manual calibration helps to maintain “muscle memory” and user confidence in their detector. It’s almost like a mini-refresher training.

Click to download full whitepaper Calibrate or Die, Application Note:110.  

About Environics USA Environics is a global provider of industrial gas detection and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) monitoring solutions. We manufacture a wide range of products including hazardous gas monitors for ambient air, process gas and stack emissions, as well as government early warning CBRN detection systems. Today, Environics is the supplier of choice for industrial, government and military organizations worldwide.

For more information, contact: Christopher Wrenn Sr. Director of Sales & Marketing Phone: 410-612-1250 Email: chris.wrenn@EnvironicsUSA.com