You use data to make decisions every day – whether you realize it or not. If you’re like me, one of the first things you do every morning is check the weather to decide what to wear. Pulling up the weather app on your phone gives you access to millions of data points that are nicely packaged into a weather forecast. You use that data to decide whether you’ll need a raincoat and boots or a t-shirt and sunglasses.
Gas detection data works the same way—bringing different data points together helps you decide what to do next.
People like you have been using data to make decisions about their gas detection programs for more than 20 years. In that time, our systems have collected critical gas detection data from more than 440,000 gas detectors and docking stations.
This data not only helps customers like you save lives by alerting workers to gas hazards, but it also gives us critical insights into the ways we can build better products for you with the same goal in mind.
For years we’ve been talking about the value of using gas detection data to help you make smart decisions that will improve safety on your site. Now, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.
Here are eight ways we’ve used data from Industrial Scientific gas detectors to build better products for you:
1. Adding Critical Instrument Settings: Our data showed us that far too many instruments were being shut off while in alarm. To make sure workers stay safe, we added “Always On” and “Shut Down in Alarm” settings in 2013 so that instruments are always powered on at critical moments. The “Always On” feature is extremely popular in Tango TX1 Single Gas Detectors, which are often used to provide simple gas detection for contractors during shutdowns and turnarounds.
2. Allowing Workers to Acknowledge Alarms: After reviewing alarm set points across thousands of accounts, we saw that many users need to work in areas where they know gases are present. These users wear appropriate PPE to protect themselves from these known hazards, but our gas detectors don’t know that and continue to sound alarms. Acknowledgeable Gas Alerts allow users who are wearing appropriate PPE to continue to work in those dangerous environments without the hassle of a loud alarm telling them what they already know. Most important, the monitor will continue to alert the worker to other atmospheric changes. Acknowledgeable Gas Alerts prevent users from becoming numb to alarms by allowing the alarms to convey the most important information when it is most needed.
3. Showing the Who and Where for Gas Alarms: We noticed that users frequently entered site locations and worker names in iNet® Control to show where gas alarms were happening and who was carrying the monitor. We automated this process by introducing iAssign® Technology. With iAssign, we capture the information users need, but on-the-go and without manual data entry. This gives important context to gas detection data.
4. Providing Instant Visibility: Our customers have long used iNet Control to identify and address gas hazards in their workplaces. When we saw how often users were reviewing data points about alarm events and gas detector usage, such as “used when calibration was due,” we had an idea. Safety professionals were using historical data to try to predict hazards, so we developed a live monitoring tool to show them real-time gas hazards so they could identify and respond to hazards in the moment and prevent accidents in the future.
5. Creating a Backup for Bump Tests: We all know that bump testing is the only way to know that a gas detector will respond when a hazard is present. However, thanks to two years of bump test data, we know that only 20% of workers bump test every day. We created DualSense to make sure that workers always have a backup sensor in case one malfunctions. This means that even if workers don’t bump test, the chance of a sensor failure is significantly lower, making them significantly safer. The risk of failure for a gas detector bump tested daily is 1 in 375, but with DualSense, that risk drops to 1 in 110,000.
6. Making Routine Maintenance Easy: DSX™ Docking Stations are designed to bump test, calibrate, and charge your monitors. And every aspect of the docking station is built on data: from the sequence that sensors are checked to the amount of time that calibration gas is applied. To get specific, docking station data showed us exactly how much purge time is needed between calibrating a PID sensor and an LEL sensor. We established this as a default setting, so you don’t have to think about it.
7. Replacing Calibration Gas Before it Runs Out: We use calibration gas usage data to understand trends, like how long a cylinder lasts based on the number of monitors used. We saw that many docking stations were unable to calibrate and bump test monitors because the cal gas cylinders were empty. By the time customers noticed and reordered gas, they could lose days of work. Understanding these trends gave us the idea to create the AutoReplenish Plus program, which automatically sends you replacement calibration gas before it runs out.
8. Optimizing Calibration Gas: We are constantly reviewing the calibration gas we offer to make sure that it’s the highest quality and most accurate calibration gas available. For example, we’ve identified 18% oxygen as more accurate than other concentrations and have adapted our available catalog to reflect that fact.