When it comes to safety, specifically gas detection, a large majority of users are partying like it is 1999. Our hardware beeps and flashes just like it did 18 years ago and the data offerings are composed of clunky Windows-based software, excel spreadsheets, paper sign-in sheets, or my favorite “nothing at all”. . .
We commonly use high tech solutions to solve for relatively ordinary problems (food delivery, restaurants reviews, grabbing a ride, etc.) that we couldn’t imagine 18 years ago. Why can’t we turn to technology to solve for important problems (maintenance, behavior, exposures, compliance tracking, panic situations, etc.) regarding life-saving gas detection equipment? To illustrate my point, here are four products from 1999. Would you want to buy any of them today?
1. A phone that couldn’t receive texts, e-mails, or have apps
2. A bank account with no online banking services available and no ATM access
3. A computer with no Wi-Fi access that only worked on dial up
4. A home alarm system that didn’t notify you when someone broke into your house when you weren’t home
My best guess is that the majority of people wouldn’t want to buy or use these products. And why is that?
None of these products has any element of connectivity or innovation. In today’s market, we have come to expect a minimum level of connectivity in our technology. We want our devices to do more, communicate better, and be up to date. Our modern lives as consumers and businesses people are based on cloud computing platforms. We have better speed and access to information. These establish mutually beneficial relationships for both consumers and companies.
For gas detection, the technology has been either too expensive or simply unavailable to solve these problems in the past. However, with recent innovations in both cost and availability, these solutions are readily available for either cloud data access or site-wide connectivity. As you enter your 2017 budget year, please take a second look at your gas detection program and ask, “What more can these instruments do for me?” Let’s use technology to optimize safety and eliminate death on the job by the year 2050.