Gas safety: What to check?
First of all, let’s be clear: If you have a gas safety concern, don’t chance it. Call a hebs Group engineer for advice and if you can smell gas when you shouldn’t be able to, call the National Gas Emergencies number on 0800 111 999.
With that being said, there are some precautions you can take in the workplace to make sure you are on top of any gas safety issues you might encounter on a regular basis.
These relate to the supply of gas to your premises, the way you use gas on your premises, and some of the common gas safety risks that are harder to spot.
Checking your gas supply
Know where your mains gas supply is located on your premises so that in an emergency, you can shut it off or show an engineer where to shut it off.
If your gas supply has a simple stop tap on it, then it might be safe to stop the supply yourself in the event of a leak, so the risk is controlled even before an engineer can get to you.
Larger business premises often have multiple places where the supply can be cut off – while this is a good thing as you can contain a leak in just one area, make sure that the tap or valve you use to do this is the correct one and doesn’t just disconnect a non-leaking section of pipe.
Using gas safely
Gas presents a risk of explosion and fire, so it’s important to take appropriate precautions to use it safely at all times.
Make sure any areas where gas is commonly used on your premises have the appropriate Zone 0, 1 or 2 designation and that employees know what this means in terms of personal protective equipment (PPE) and suitable working practices.
Install gas alarms so that in the event of a leak, you are alerted immediately. These can be connected to valves that automatically disconnect the supply during an alarm state, so personnel are safeguarded against the risk of explosion more quickly.
Hidden dangers of gas
Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest hidden dangers of gas, especially if you burn gas in an area where it does not have sufficient oxygen supply to fully combust.
CO cannot be seen, heard, tasted or smelled, so the first way you might notice it is when it has already started to poison you, leading to tiredness and light-headedness.
Make sure any areas where gas is commonly used are well ventilated and fitted with carbon monoxide alarms, so that if CO starts to accumulate where personnel are working, you can take immediate action to prevent harmful effects and potential loss of life.
At hebs Group our engineers have experience working with all types of industrial gas installations, so we are just a phone call away on 0151 2360707 if you need more advice on any of the above.