mobile menu close icon mobile menu icon

Elevating Real-Time Gas Detection with Live Monitoring

Connected Safety  |   March 23, 2023  |   Cynthia Horn

Across any plant operation, safety managers and industrial hygienists play a huge role in making sure everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. They’re constantly keeping their finger on the pulse of operations, meaning the term “real-time detection” isn’t new to the industry.

However, the term “real-time detection” has morphed significantly over the years. Once, safety professionals relied on flame safety lamps to alert them to hazards. Later, in the 1980s, real-time gas detection became synonymous with electronic monitoring equipment. Today, devices supported by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and robust live monitoring software solutions are what most professionals rely on to protect their workers. 

With today’s live monitoring technology, you can gain the insights you need to act fast in emergency situations. But how else can you elevate your safety program with live monitoring?

Real-Time Gas Detection Alerts for Emergency Response and Proactive Improvements

Real-time detection today relies heavily on IIoT technology and bespoke software solutions. These developments have made it so users can easily share alarms and gas readings between workers and safety managers in real time, making it easier to respond to gas hazards, panic alarms, or man-down alarms quickly.

a laptop and a phone screen held by a hand display high-gas alarms for an industrial workerYou can even receive this information directly to your own gas detector or use remote live monitoring options to see readings instantly on a phone or laptop through real-time alerts, emails, or text messages.

Through live monitoring, you can also see where personnel are consistently facing hazardous exposure levels so you can drive proactive safety improvements to prevent accidents or injuries. 

Live monitoring software, for example, can mark the location of an area where workers are constantly experiencing exposures by connecting to pre-placed beacons, or generating heat maps. This information is then sent to the cloud in real time to indicate any hazards, which can then be communicated to stakeholders via email or text. Armed with this information, you can investigate the area and resolve the hazard before there’s a reportable incident, and ideally, before any more workers are exposed.

With peer-to-peer, satellite, wi-fi, and cellular alert options, you can create a more robust gas detection program by enabling team members to look deeper into what’s happening around their site. Alarm reports highlight who had which gas monitor, if they were exposed to any hazards, where the exposure came from, and more. These automatic reports increase situational awareness and decrease emergency response times by ensuring your gas monitors always have a reliable connection and real-time visibility from anywhere. 

While deep insights are important for your safety program, the ability to access real-time data, such as gas readings or emergency alerts, from anywhere with emails and texts, is key in ensuring you aren’t leaving workers high and dry.

Responding to Alerts 24/7 with Live Monitoring (Even When You’re Asleep)

Real-time alerts and notifications are great when you can instantly act on them; but what happens if you’re in a meeting or dead cell zone? What about when safety teams are at home and asleep, but there are still workers who operate around the clock? What happens to employees in different time zones?

Some companies aren’t equipped with internal staff that can guarantee reliable monitoring and response times if something happens to their around-the-clock workers. However, by adding a 24/7 professional monitoring service, in addition to IIoT-backed equipment and other live monitoring solutions, you can easily fill this gap on your site.

A service like 24/7 Professional Monitoring can vary wildly based on a facility’s needs, so how does it work? In general, once the service is connected to an IIoT-backed device, any alerts will be sent to both on-site safety managers as well as the professional monitoring service agents, who will instantly respond according to a user’s established escalation plan.

You create your own escalation plan to ensure that every alert is addressed exactly how you want – including escalation plans based on who the user is, which type of alarm has gone off, and more.

For example, it could be established that if there is a man-down alarm or a panic alarm, the professional monitoring service will call the user’s cell phone. If there’s no response, then they will call 911 and provide the user’s last known location. In other instances, the established escalation plan could look like calling the user’s phone and if there’s no response, calling the team lead, supervisor, etc. until the situation is appropriately handled.

Implementing a professional monitoring service, in addition to live monitoring solutions, can help ensure everyone stays safe on the job – no matter the time of day. It also eliminates the need for manual check-ins with lone workers thanks to automatic status updates. With these automatic status updates, workers can focus on the job at hand, improving their safety and productivity – and safety personnel can rest assured that no alert will go unnoticed.

To learn more about connected gas monitoring solutions, including professional live monitoring, download our tech brief: Improve Safety and Optimize Gas Detection Operations.