Home Head Protection Gas Detection Devices: Don’t drive a minivan when you need a racecar...

Gas Detection Devices: Don’t drive a minivan when you need a racecar (Safety Tales Podcast S3)

Intro Speaker:

Dave and Bacon’s Safety Tales: the only industrial safety podcast that brings you common sense advice on job site safety, standards, regulations, and industry best practices without putting you to sleep.

Fred Radunzel:

All right, we’re back with another episode of Dave and Bacon’s Safety Tales. Exciting things going on here today. We’re going to talk about instrumentation.

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

Doesn’t get any better than that, right?

Dave White:

I’m going to try to concentrate one last time before I check out for vacation for a couple days.

Fred Radunzel:

That’s right. Did you play any instruments growing up?

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah? What’d you do?

Dave White:

Violin.

Fred Radunzel:

Violin?

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

That’s it?

Dave White:

Pretty much.

Fred Radunzel:

I did trombone for about two months.

Dave White:

Yeah, my brother has the musical talent. I have no musical talent.

Fred Radunzel:

Really?

Dave White:

I finally figured out after five or six years, I could play the notes on the paper, but it kind of sounded like a three-year-old banging on keys of a piano. Yeah, I could hit the notes, but there was no art to it, no feel.

Fred Radunzel:

I always wanted to be a piano guy.

Dave White:

A piano guy?

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, especially like when you go to a-

Dave White:

Like a dueling piano guy or just like a …

Fred Radunzel:

No, someone that could play the piano.

Dave White:

Like classical? The ones that are just in competition?

Fred Radunzel:

I’d rather go to like a hotel bar or something like that, and there’s a piano sitting there, and there’s just lots of people around, and I sit down and start playing the piano like a real Casanova. I always envision that, and some girl in an evening gown would be sitting on the piano and cross her legs, and then I’d go home with her at the end of the night and happily ever after.

Dave White:

Yeah, there you go.

Fred Radunzel:

That would be my plan. Fred Radunzel, Dave White with Quad City Safety. We’re keeping the podcast thing on rolling. I think this is going to be … I’m not sure if it’s going to air last or if it’s going to air next to last, but I think this will be the end of season three here.

Dave White:

So, we’ll be like 30-something of these into it.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, I think it was 10, and then the last two have been 11, so that should be 32 episodes in about a year, I think. We started this about this time last year maybe, a little bit later than this.

Dave White:

Yeah, a little bit later.

Fred Radunzel:

If you guys need any help or want to chat with us or anything, QuadCitySafety.com. Reach out to us on any of our social media applications that we’re on. Hit us up.

Dave White:

If you’re manufacturing, and you listen to this, and you got a message that you want to get out there, this is kind of a community forum, so people are going to get sick of us after a while. We would like to interject some new blood, some new thoughts, some different ways to look at stuff. Maybe you got a best practice that you’d like to talk about. That’s what we’re here for. Even professional organizations, if you’re ASSP, but you used to be ASSE, or you’re a national NSC, you’re something.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

Or you just want to show that you know a lot about something, we would love to have you on here to help us help people.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

That’s what this is. This is only here to help people think, rethink, or look from a different perspective at things.

Fred Radunzel:

Yep. Just having a conversation, so we’d love for you guys to be a part of it.

 

Today, the plan here is to talk about gas detection or instrumentation. I think we touched on it a little bit in season one, but definitely something that there’s still millions of things that are out there that I’m sure we haven’t talked about. It’s one of those topics that there’s a wide range of things, and the technologies are changing and all of that.

 

Why don’t we kind of start with why you need a gas detector in a confined space?

Dave White:

Well, it’s not just confined space. It can be confined space or it’s somewhere where we think there’s a known level of something that we’re not supposed to have or breathe.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

So, when we sit there and talk about, as we’re stomping around the earth, most of the earth’s concentration of the oxygen is 20.8% by volume. We’re sitting here breathing oxygen. It’s pretty important to us. The problem is anytime we interject something else, a lot of times we can displace oxygen, or we can introduce something that our bodies don’t know how to process, or we can enter a situation where there’s a potential explosion because of a fume vapor as it relates to potentially a volatile organic compound or something like that.

 

The first thing we’ve kind of got to ask ourselves is what are we going into and what do we think might be there? Because some of the times we may need to do some upfront … we may need to buy some detection tubes, just to kind of figure out what the hell is there. But I think, for the most part, what we’re trying to concentrate on today is true construction or manufacturing confined spaces or things like we’re going into a hole or a room or something that we’re not normally in, and we’re not sure of the air quality.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

I think that’s where we want to take it, right?

Fred Radunzel:

Yep. Yeah, I think definitely emphasizing on the detection.

Dave White:

Most of the time, the standard four-gas is a lot of what we do. Again, that’s going, is there enough oxygen here to keep you from going facedown? CO, carbon monoxide: usually carbon monoxide is going to be … There’s an engine or something that’s producing something that’s settling into a hole, so it’s created by combustion of something. Then we work into the LEL, so is there maybe like a gas leak that is leaking methane, pentane, something with an -ane in it that explodes if you get it in the right concentrations?

 

And then the final one is hydrogen sulfide, so hydrogen sulfide occurs from organic matter decomposing. Theoretically, it’s a possum with a bunch of leaves on it that died down in there and creates theoretically hydrogen sulfide. Or you’ll see H2S a lot of times, anytime you’re digging a hole. That’s why, if you go to a refinery or if you’re where they’re digging wells, you’re going into the ground, so you can have decayed matter that’s created the H2S.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay. What do you think … when you’re picking out what sensors or figuring out what sensors you’re going to need for the monitor, what’s kind of the process there?

Dave White:

Well, again, it’s figuring out what do we think we need to detect?

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

Or it’s erring on the side of some level of ignorance and saying, “I’m not really sure.” If you’re going to be an “I’m not really sure” guy, going with the four-gas is not an issue, but let’s say that we’re just trying to make sure there’s maybe not a leak in a gas line or something.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

It’s going to be a completely different rig and setup. You kind of really need to know that you think might be there. I mean, no monitor … I’m not aware of a monitor really out there that’ll go, “This is every gas on the planet, and I know where it’s bad for you, and I will beep when you get in it.” No, no, no, no. It’s kind of “I know that these are potential …”

 

If you don’t know, you just pick up the phone. There’s industrial hygienists out there that will help you figure it out. They can look at what you’re mixing, what your processes are, help you dig through your MSDS to see maybe if there’s issues there. Look at your spaces to kind of help you through that. But, again, you kind of got to know before you start picking what sensors you are, and then you start piling these sensors into it, so you can have a single gas. You can have two, you can have three, you can have four, you can have six.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

You can have PIDs that’ll do more than that. Photoionization detector.

Fred Radunzel:

You’re saying most of this, besides the four sensors like in a four-gas monitor, usually the extra sensor, if you need to go to a five or add a single gas detector, would be like you probably are knowing …

Dave White:

You’re going to know that you have chlorine.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

And you go, “Well, we have chlorine here.”

Fred Radunzel:

“We work with fertilizer.”

Dave White:

So, chlorine is going to settle in. Most gases are kind of fairly heavy. Depending on which gas it is, it’s going to kind of push itself down into the hole or fall into the hole because it’s heavier. Yeah, typically I always call those exotics. Maybe that’s not the right … but you got your standard four-gas and then your exotics. It can be nitrous dioxide. It can be-

Fred Radunzel:

It’s like SO2 we run into a lot.

Dave White:

Yeah, sulfur dioxide, chlorine. All your b-words, your benzenes and all kinds of weird stuff. They’re way out there.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah. All right, so it’s kind of just making sure that you got your bases covered there with all the different sensors that you might need.

Dave White:

And that’s where it doesn’t hurt to talk to somebody.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, taking your four-gas. I know we have customers in that’ll add a second monitor to it, just because they want that … just the single gas just to do when they’re in those areas, or they don’t want to spend the money for a five-gas, so they use their regular four-gas that they use everywhere, and then they add a single gas to that.

Dave White:

Here’s a classic example. There’s some facilities out there now that … there are microbreweries everywhere.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

And these people are putting these large vats in, and they’re not paying attention to the fact that they’re creating carbon dioxide. Alcohol is made by a sugar being ate by a yeast. It craps out alcohol and carbon dioxide is the chemical change that happens there. This carbon dioxide is put out … maybe me brewing in my basement with a five-gallon bucket is a lot different than a guy that has-

Fred Radunzel:

Right, a swimming pool.

Dave White:

-a couple hundred-gallon drums rig over there running it. Maybe you go, “I need to sense carbon dioxide at a certain level, and I’m just going to put a fix system in, so I’m just going to mount a sensor right there that tells me, ‘Crap, we got a problem here.'”

 

When you’re talking instrumentation, it’s figuring out what gases you need to sniff. Then it’s figuring out what kind of device do I need? Is it fixed? Am I just wearing it on my body so, as I walk around, I’m aware of something that may happen? Like the personal H2S, can be a personal oxygen, it can be whatever.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

Or it can be “I need to get a remote sample, so I need to have a pump that pulls air through a hose, runs it across the sensors, and then measures from there.”

Fred Radunzel:

Okay. Maybe this kind of leads right into it, but talking about, I guess, sample drawing versus diffusion-type sensors. Kind of want to explain the difference there?

Dave White:

Well, diffusion is kind of like a smoke detector. If I have a smoke detector, and I don’t have one near the kitchen, but I have it in the back bedroom, the whole house is going to be on fire before I know that there’s smoke.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

Because it takes … the smoke has to get it. But let’s say that I’m in my bedroom, and I’m going to measure what’s going on in the kitchen. Then that pump is going to pull air from closer, from there to make me aware that, wait a second, there’s smoke. Is it remote? Do I have to get it from somewhere where I’m not going to enter?

 

Because a lot of times, when people do confined space, I’m a big believer in any entrance should have a personal monitor. And then the attendant, the person on top of the hole making sure that, if they go down, we get them out, should be measuring air quality throughout the confined space because, again, gases weigh different amounts. There can be different concentrations in different places. If we’re not purging there, then you don’t know how it’s all going to settle out.

Fred Radunzel:

Say like a diffusion monitor or sensor would be …

Dave White:

They’re the same sensors.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

The only thing that’s different is-

Fred Radunzel:

How it’s getting to the sensor.

Dave White:

Am I just waiting for something to hit it, or am I sucking it and drawing it through it?

Fred Radunzel:

It’s like wandering into it, or we’re pulling it in. Okay.

Dave White:

The pump doesn’t do anything special, other than kind of …

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, bring it in and put it where it needs to be, check it out.

Dave White:

Suck it in and push across to the sensors. The diffusion’s just sitting there waiting for it.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay. So, you gotta kind of figure out what your environment is on whether or not-

Dave White:

Well, am I measuring right here where I’m at right now? Or do I need to go in somewhere where I need to know what’s in there, what the concentrations are, before I go down? I mean, you can take a diffusion and put it on a string.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

And lower it down there. But people have to think about the fact that a diffusion takes a little while because it’s gotta kind of sit there like that smoke detector and wait for the smoke to get to it. It’s not actively pulling stuff into itself.

Fred Radunzel:

Fair enough. All right, how about … oh, boy. Classification for intrinsic safety?

Dave White:

Intrinsically safe, I mean, you’ll see those in mining.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay. What’s different about it that makes it, in terms of safety, when it comes to a monitor?

Dave White:

Non-sparking.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

Sometimes the sensor technologies will have to be potentially a little different, in that anytime you’re talking intrinsically safe, there’s no potential for an electrical arc within the device.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

Mines will have them. It’s usually kind of … the people that are going to need them are going to know that they need them. Intrinsically safe is, again, just trying to keep … just like an intrinsically safe flashlight. It’s just trying to keep an arc from happening, so that you don’t all of a sudden turn your monitor on and blow everything up because there’s a concentration of a gas.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay. And then I think some other things, these are mostly just things to look out for or consider when you’re purchasing or looking for a new-

Fred Radunzel:

Consider when you’re buying, when you’re purchasing or looking for a new monitor. I guess durability.

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

A lot of them have, whether it’s different rubber, some of the less expensive ones might just be plastic.

Dave White:

No actually a lot of times, if you look at the literature, they’ll kind of tout a drop test. Like we’ve dropped this from x amount of feet. You’ll see the IP ratings on them. So, the IP ratings is basically IP and a set of numbers, and that talks about, can you take it out in the rain or can you not take it out in the rain, or can you actually maybe submerge it for a second. You know?

 

So it’s how tight the housing is around it. How it keeps dust particulates, moisture out of it. So, from a durability, you have the drop rating, you have the IP rating of the device, and then some of it gets into you know, how to say, you’ll see some extra stuff that plugs into them. When I say that, like if you got a pump unit, sometimes the wands may be chintzier than others, you know the actual device. So, you really kind of got to look-

Fred Radunzel:

Length probably.

Dave White:

What’s that?

Fred Radunzel:

The length of the wand, cause some of them may have shorter ones.

Dave White:

Yup. Can be longer, shorter, can be kind of, how to say, some of them the pump is in the wand. Some of them the pump is actually in the device.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

The pump and the wand, they was always kind of, not a big fan.

Fred Radunzel:

Power source. How long are you going to need to use it, I would imagine.

Dave White:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s huge. When you talk about powering them, for a long time have always had rechargeable, but then it’s kind of, what kind of, is it Nickel metal Hot-rod, is it lithium Ion? Am I using a diffusion unit or are you using it as a pump unit? Because a pump unit requires more power to run the pump then just the diffusion unit.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

Where am I charging it at? If I’m Joe Contractor in the middle of, you know, I’m wandering around remote North Dakota, and there’s no plugs in trees to charge stuff, you may need alkaline batteries. So you can go get your ever readies and change your batteries out of those.

 

It can get into sensor technologies are changing. There are infrared LAL sensors. LAL sensors are one of the ones that basically eats a lot of your battery, so they’ve gone to an infrared, but the problem with infrared sensors is there are volatile organic compounds it won’t recognize or it will confuse itself with hydrogen or other gases.

 

So, when you talk about power, it’s like, how long am I going to need to use this, how am I going to charge it, cause maybe you need extra batteries, maybe you don’t have a charging source so you need to go with an alkaline pack.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah. You need to plan on having a pack or something like a battery pack thing.

Dave White:

Well yeah, you can have a charging station. Again, keeping in mind, everybody that says their battery lasts so long is a liar. If they say, oh yeah you can run a shift on it, you’ll get 6 hours. So, if you’re running your 10-hour shift, you’re 4 hours short of completing your job.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

Then you turn around, well we don’t have a battery. It’s cooler than shit now that I can plug my phone in and it charge in 25 minutes or whatever. But, they haven’t got those there yet.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

It takes a little bit longer.

Fred Radunzel:

There’s an important alarms. How to alarms, probably where you’re at when the thing alarms, are you gonna be able to hear it, do you need to be able to see it?

Dave White:

Yeah. That’s a perfect case scenario, I was talking with somebody about. It was a fixed system, but it was in an area where they were blasting. So, it’s louder than hell.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

So who gives a shit that there’re 100 decibel alarm is going off, they can’t hear it.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

But, if you can … a lot of fix systems will have where you can output a signal to just a light. Why am I going blank on what you would call that? You know just a blinking light. So that you have a visual, hey wait a second something’s going on here. Strobe is what I was going, you know. You can output to a strobe so that all of the sudden there’s a visual cue that there’s something going on there.

Fred Radunzel:

Some of them vibrate.

Dave White:

They can vibrate.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

Hell, they got ’em that’ll have kind of like integrated past technology, so that if this guy is in the hole and he hasn’t moved in ten minutes, is he dead? Is he laying down there and somebody needs to be aware of it, away from him? So, there’s all kinds of little bells and whistles that they’ve integrated into these … they’ve integrated into Bluetooth technology. So like, MSA, I can have my cellphone, and you can have the device, and you can go in the hole, and I can sit there and monitor what’s going on on my cellphone through the Bluetooth connection.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

ISC has ones that’ll … you can pair ’em up with different devices. And if anybody’s in trouble, it lets everybody know what’s in trouble and where. So from an alarm standpoint, we’ve come a lot … it’s not just the single … the loud obnoxious beat that anybody that’s ever turned one on has quickly figured where the speaker holds … there’s usually always a … And that’s another thing is, is the speaker hole plugged up? I mean, that’s a whole different conversation.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

The reason to bump test and [inaudible 00:22:21].

Fred Radunzel:

Have you seen those alarm clocks? For some reason that popped into my head, that like, will run away?

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

That’s what, my brother-in-law has to get one of those. He’s one of those people that like, he’s layin’ there, alarm clock two feet from his head is going off and you’ll be in a different room and walk in there and be like “Hey! Dumb-ass! Wake up!” Yeah, so. That’s what my wife was talkin’ about needin’ to get him one of the ones that jumps off or, someone that’s asleep guy that you just hit to sleep over and over and over again. One of those ones that jumps you, you actually have to get up and go chase it down to get it, so.

Dave White:

One of those, I think one of the gals that came up with those was on Shark Tank.

Fred Radunzel:

Oh really?

Dave White:

And she had another product that she … yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

Your kids sleepers? Or they get up easy?

Dave White:

I’ve got one in the middle, one that gets up same time every morning, and one that would sleep ’til-

Fred Radunzel:

2:00pm?

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah. I was that kid.

Dave White:

I’ve got all shapes and sizes.

Fred Radunzel:

Some other things to consider in the package kind of when you’re buying these monitors would be the added accessories. I know ou talked about a wand. There’s filters, there’s different dust filters. Yeah cases. Those sort of-

Dave White:

You want a pelican fit. You want a … a lot of times you’re spending anywhere from $400 to multiple thousands of dollars. So, spending 60 bucks on a nice case to keep it in, keep it with its [inaudible 00:23:56]. You know? So, you got all … you’re buying a system.

Fred Radunzel:

Its charger is right there. You’ve gotten everything together.

Dave White:

Charging, calibrations in charging stations is, I mean. Yes, they are expensive, but people are … I mean, I would say, we’re buying stuff on cars that we don’t, we can stay in our own lane, but for extra couple hundred bucks everything will jingle and alarms go off if you kind of get out of your lane. Well that’s the same thing that we’re talking here when you talk about some of the added calibration stations is you’re gonna put it in there and it’s gonna go, oh you haven’t calibrated this thing in a month. Let’s go ahead and calibrate it.

 

Or it’s gonna put it in there and it’s gonna go, no, you failed a bump test, don’t use this. And here’s what’s wrong with it.

Fred Radunzel:

I was just talking to my grandmother on my wife’s side, and she’s talking about trading in her old Subaru, okay? Her Subaru that’s like a 2014, it’s got like 20,000 miles on it and she rarely ever drives. And she wants to trade it in to get the new model because it’s got that feature on it. She doesn’t see too good out of her left eye. So she’s telling me that she has to turn her head when she’s changing lanes. Like, to go left she’s gotta turn her whole head. So she wants to get the lane things that will bump her back-

Dave White:

What’s she got, a Forester, or?

Fred Radunzel:

I think it’s an Outback. So the new ones have this feature, and I’m like, “Well maybe it’s time for you to stop driving. ‘Cause you can’t see out of one eye.”

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

But I suppose if I’m out there with her, I’d appreciate her having that thing that will keep her in her own lane.

Dave White:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can’t, completely can’t see anything on the left hand side of the car, but, I’ve got something that tells me if there’s something there.

Fred Radunzel:

Or if I’m about to just bump off into the … Oh, God, anyways. Warranty? Yeah, there’s another thing to think about.

Dave White:

Yeah, [crosstalk 00:25:42].

Fred Radunzel:

Some of these have a year warranty, some have two, some are on the censor, some aren’t on the censor.

Dave White:

Yeah, there’s all kinds of things to, you know, when you’re really makin’ the investment, is, there can be trade-ins, like, go from brand x to brand y.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

You give ’em the boat anchor that you have, and they’ll take a little bit off. How many units are you buying? Can affect your pricing.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, I think just how the thing operates, is it easy to use? I know that’s one thing we started using.

Dave White:

Is it in quote, “Bubba proof”?

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

Some of ’em can have all kinds of-

Fred Radunzel:

Settings and different things you gotta change.

Dave White:

Settings and crap on it. And then you can have ones that are literally like, you can change the settings in it but it only has one Bubba button where he kinda turns it on and turns it off.

Fred Radunzel:

So, kind of what do you think, here what do I got next to my question here? What’s the point of instrument calibration in bump testing?

Dave White:

What’s the what?

Fred Radunzel:

What’s the point of calibrating in bump testing. I guess, maybe we’ve talked a little bit more about the differences.

Dave White:

So the difference there is … if I took a, if I reached in my pocket and I pulled out a handgun, and I took the handgun and I were to hand it, well Fred you don’t know anything, you’re scared of NRA but … so I’ve got this handgun, and I politely hand it to you. What’s the first thing that you’re gonna do?

Fred Radunzel:

Hold it up? Look at it?

Dave White:

You should see if it’s hot? You should see if it has, if it’s loaded or ready to rock and roll.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

So kind of think about, I mean that’s a thought process to go with, another thought process is in your home, you have a smoke detector. So, you can either be one of those assholes that waits for it to chirp and then you’re always trying to figure out which one it is, ’cause you’re like, I can hear it, but I can’t walk towards it because it’s so, it’s kind of an ominous tone or whatever.

 

Or you can walk up every six months, hit the red button and it goes, yeah, my battery is good. So, it’s the same thing as that. So, it’s literally when you’re bump testing, you’re going, you’re gettin’ ready to go into an environment that you don’t understand if the quality of air is good to maintain you as a human being. So the first thing that you should do is try to make sure, is this thing ready?

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

So, when you’re bump testing, all your doing is you’re throwing gas across sensors and just making sure it goes, yeah I know what that is. Yep, I know what that is. Yeah, I know what that is. And so, calibration is kind of bump on steroids, because what it does then is, again you’re going against a known value of concentration of gas. But, couple that with the fact that … let’s say that we’re trying to measure that 20.8. You know in that bottle you have 20.8. And, all of a sudden you’re cal’in it. And again calibrations are not exact methods, or not exact measures.

 

I think too often people get caught up in the fact that, when we have a monitor, we are measuring to specific 100% … if it says 300 parts per million, it’s 300 parts per million.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

And the fact of the matter is, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. There’s a lot of room for error because if we’re calibrating it, or if we’re buying gas, if you look at it it’s always plus or minus. Most of them are always going to be plus or minus ten percent. So, if the alarm goes off and you’re supposed to be measuring 300 parts per million, it’s somewhere between 270 and 330. It’s not an exact reading measurement. But the calibration, what its intention to do is to try to get it back to where it should be. So, if you’ve had what’s called, it can be called sensor drift, so, if the sensor is drifted or the … how it senses stuff has drifted, your just trying to bring that back into line plus or minus ten percent of what that allowable is.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay. Cool, anything else you wanna touch on, on a, kind of what to look out for in a gas monitor? I think, I think you about covered it.

Dave White:

From … again, the one thing that I’ll tell people is, it doesn’t hurt to look at multiple brands. Because what may work for somebody may not work for somebody else. So, kind of lookin’ out there and having that, you know, that, what I wanna do with it. ‘Cause everybody always wants to walk in there and buy something.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

And this is one where you really gotta do a little bit of homework to go, I know I need a [4-gas 00:31:04] so I go buy a 4-gas and then I didn’t think about the fact that, well we got this one area where we have chlorine. And now we have a monitor that’s a 4-gas that doesn’t have the ability to span to that exotic.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

And then, you have a bud anchor.

Fred Radunzel:

Where you go out and you start using it when there’s chlorine … why is this not picking up this?

Dave White:

Yeah, yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

Like, we just didn’t buy the right thing. So I would say service would be another thing.

Dave White:

Yeah, having a ‘us’. Somebody that, if it’s not us, don’t buy this shit off of Amazon, ’cause you’re not gonna be happy. Because-

Fred Radunzel:

Right. If something goes wrong, they’re not gonna fix it for you.

Dave White:

We’re gonna be able to get you sensors. Again, everybody says a warranty but how many good experiences I have had directly with a manufacturer of me buying something from a [inaudible 00:31:52], and trying to file a warranty on something, it’s like, well we’ll ship you another one out in six to ten weeks.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah.

Dave White:

And a lot of the times it does show up, but, that’s not good enough.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

I mean I know that if we have, if we’re fixing …

Dave White:

That’s not good enough.

Fred Radunzel:

Right.

Dave White:

I know that if we’re fixing or working on somebody’s monitor, we’ll sometimes give them a loaner device to go when you go on hold tomorrow, we don’t want you to die. We care enough about you to give you something to get you buy.

Fred Radunzel:

Alright, let’s move on here to this week’s dumb ass of the week.

 

This guy-

Dave White:

Calls all the time.

Fred Radunzel:

I’ve seen him quite a bit. Why has my monitor failing? Why is the Cal Gas not working? It’s not reading what I got on. Okay question number one for me always is, when’s that model expire? This guy’s expired in 2009. I’ve actually been to this person within the last couple of years, that I picked up their bottle of gas and it expired in 2009. This stuff expires. Your Cal Gas will expire and it’s probably not going to be year one, it’s probably not going to be month. It’s not like it expires June first.

Dave White:

Different gases are … you can get up to 18 months on some gas, but some gases like chlorine, which are very caustic, 6 months. After 6 months, the problem that it is, is that it’s chlorine gas in the bottle. You put it in the bottle, and it’s eating the metal inside the bottle, so it’s changing the chemistry of what is in that environment.

 

There are some people that are coming out now with some new bottle technologies that are better for like your standard four gas bottle. It’s H2S. H2S has wrecked havoc on the inside of the bottle and makes the mixture unstable over time, because it’s doing its own chemical reaction. Like you said 2009, every now and again people will have something that will pass, but it’s literally like what are you really pass … there’s no-

Fred Radunzel:

What are we measuring against? There’s exact formula inside that bottle that’s keeping you safe.

Dave White:

Again, you’re trying to get to plus or minus 10% of the value. The bottle can be another plus or minus 10% on a good bottle. So all of a sudden we have a bad bottle, a bad Cal, and maybe it calibrates, but again, how close are you to what’s really there?

Fred Radunzel:

Right. Yeah, it still works, you hear that, too. No, this one still works. Well, is it really working for what you need it to be doing? That is something. Don’t be a dumb ass. If your Cal Gas expired, buy a new one. If it’s a month past the expiration date and you have one coming, I would say you probably can feel comfortable to use that. It’s probably worse than it was 6 months ago.

Dave White:

You’re buying a device that you’re saying tell me how many parts per million are in a known volume of air. That’s a no brainer to me, I would sit there and I would go that’s pretty specific. That’s like me trying to put my shitty mini van up against a NASCAR. There’s no comparison to the technology that’s going into one. A monitor is a very fine tuned machine, so it’s going to require … we’re not talking about a smoke detector that just goes smoke, we’re talking about something that is measuring parts per million. That’s a lot. Lots of zeros.

Fred Radunzel:

Alright, let’s talk about a couple questions that we have, came through the email boxes last week. Number one, we’ve had some particulate injuries in our facility. Would it be best to a foam lined glass or a rubber lined glass?

Dave White:

Again, it depends on what, how often, because some of the glasses are more sealed with the rubber, going to be high concentration of particulate or potential splash hazards, where we may have liquids or stuff that may splash up. To me, the problem with foam lined is that you have all these face types and so everybody goes yeah, we had an eye with particulate and we go out and we buy a glass. Then, we have different ethnic people in the workplace that have different face types. We have males versus females. I’m a fat guy, so I got a fat head, so all of a sudden what fits me doesn’t do anything for the little Tray with his little pea head. It doesn’t get the same amount of protection. That’s the problem with some of the foam is you have to have a lot of different styles to fit the face types. Where ones that are more of a goggle style, usually have a better seal there.

Fred Radunzel:

Right. You look at comfort, might be another factor in there. Glasses are something that … same with earplugs, they don’t fit two people the same way, so you might need multiple options or one for multiple people.

Dave White:

Yeah, even hearing protection, you should have at least three styles just for different narrow ear canals versus people that have big ear canals.

Fred Radunzel:

Let’s see if this question reads right because if not, I can explain, because I actually talked to the person. Some manufacturers are making harnesses that extend as much as three sized and they’re less expensive. We’ve always bought more expensive individually sized harnesses. Is there any downside having a super adjustable harness?

Dave White:

Yes.

Fred Radunzel:

What do you think?

Dave White:

I think so, because a lot of times position of dorsal D, how much … like I’ve seen somebody try to pile into a harness that’s too big of them, and then they have tongue buckle leg straps, and they have all this shit hanging off of them. You know what I’m saying? They have belts hanging off the side of them that they’re trying to get into keepers and stuff like that. Is it bad? Well, no, not really, I mean if you can get into them and get them adjusted right, they’re tested to the same standard. But again, when it gets into comfort as well as off the rack what fits best, I’m a big guy, I have to go to the big guy store to buy shirts. Otherwise, if I go to the regular guy store, I end up with shirts that fit regular guys.

Fred Radunzel:

And that bottom gut thing hangs out, it’s a bad look.

Dave White:

Oh yeah, terrible look. Big pet peeve. That and carpenter crack, are two I’m not a fan.

Fred Radunzel:

Alright, last one I had. Do I need to use special absorbents around fork lifts?

Dave White:

Yes.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

The reason being is its anytime you have something that you’re picking up that’s got a weird PH on it. It can either be very basic or it can be very alkaline. Not equal to 7 on the PH scale. If we’re talking acids and bases, you need to neutralize whatever that is. In the case of a fork lift, that fork lift’s batteries they’re very acidic or there’s an acid in it, so getting control of the acid before you pick it up. There’s some absorbents where I think the stuff’s impregnated into it, but for the most part, you’re going to want to calm that thing down a little bit before you try to pick it up.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

Yeah, you can go in and pick it right up, throw absorbents on there. The problem with it is most of them are polypropylene, they’re just a plastic, so it may start eating your absorbents and then how you dispose of them becomes even more issues too, versus calming it down so that you can pick up and dispose of it correctly.

Fred Radunzel:

Cool. Alright, so last week I took a drive. I did a trade show that was Norfolk, Nebraska. It was the Nebraska Power and Equipment show. I was dealing around with some electrical co-ops. But anyways, do you know where Norfolk, Nebraska? Actually, they call it Norfolk, and it’s spelled Norfolk.

Dave White:

Well, Nor-fork. There’s a place in Kentucky that’s referred to as Nor-fork and it’s Norfolk.

Fred Radunzel:

That’s how it’s spelled, too?

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

It used to be North Fork, so they adapted or when it came over it became Nor-fork, but it’s spelled with an L.

Dave White:

That’s because people in Kentucky just mispronounce everything.

Fred Radunzel:

Well this is Nebraska, so I don’t know. But anyways, so all the hotels were booked in Norfolk, Nor-Fork.

Dave White:

You were telling me about this.

Fred Radunzel:

Yep, so I had to go about 45 minutes away in Columbus. It’s been a while in a town where there’s not much around. To go to another hotel, you have to go 45 minutes away.

Dave White:

So is that north or south of 80?

Fred Radunzel:

What do you mean? Norfolk? They’re both north of 80.

Dave White:

Okay.

Fred Radunzel:

Yep. Coming through Omaha, you head a little bit north. It’s almost heading back towards my old neck of woods. I grew up in a small town, I know you grew up in a smaller town, so talking a little bit about things to do while you’re there in a small town.

Dave White:

Hang out on the square.

Fred Radunzel:

Usually there’s a bowling alley.

Dave White:

Yeah, typically there’s a bowling alley.

Fred Radunzel:

It might be a little old and not greased lanes.

Dave White:

In some dry counties, it may be finding a fraternal order of the moose. You can pitch washers.

Fred Radunzel:

Okay.

Dave White:

Washers and horseshoes was something that was always fun and cool.

Fred Radunzel:

Fun and cool.

Dave White:

Yeah.

Fred Radunzel:

At least the town I grew up was like 20 minutes from a larger place, there was places to go. But out here in this place, there’s … it was like Clinton, almost. That’s about as big as it was. Yeah, a bar. There’s always a bar, there’s always a restaurant where you can holler at old girl. Casey’s pizza.

Dave White:

Yeah. Usually, there was always one kind of gas station.

Fred Radunzel:

Tip some cows.

Dave White:

Yeah. A hardware store.

Fred Radunzel:

DQ or some sort of ice cream.

Dave White:

Something, some kind of fringe, whether it’s a McDonald or DQ and you walk in there and you’re like why is everybody 80 in here? How do you make money with them here, because they all want a senior discount on a small coffee and want to drink a pitcher of it.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah. It was a trip being back in a small … there was an Applebee’s.

Dave White:

Well that’s a pretty big town, if you had an Applebee’s.

Fred Radunzel:

The place where my hotel was had an Applebee’s, I don’t know if the place where I was at during the show.

Dave White:

Did you get all you can eat riblet basket or whatever?

Fred Radunzel:

No man, I’m trying to watch my girlish figure so I got a chicken breast, and it was supposed to have some shrimp and they forgot my shrimp. I was too tired to go back and I got some green beans.

Dave White:

They’d probably been tadpoles anyway.

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, fair enough. So I think that’s it for us today. Once again, this is going to wrap up season three. We’ll take a little break after this one and then we’ll back hopefully with a little switch of the format a little bit. Hopefully have some desks here in the next season. Please share this with the new guy on your crew. If there’s somebody that has safety responsibilities, whether it’s your HR person or somebody that’s a maintenance person, let them know about the podcast too, because I think there’s some people out there that have safety responsibilities that we wouldn’t traditionally think are safety people.

Dave White:

We’ve also tried to tag all the episodes with what they’re about. You don’t have to listen to every episode, but if you’re getting ready to enter a topic or you all have something that you’re working through, just throw this on-

Fred Radunzel:

Working on gas detection. We don’t know shit about gas detection. Maybe we’ll just throw that episode while I’m driving in today and learn a little bit about it.

Dave White:

Yeah, and kind of get yourself ready for what you’re trying to do.

Fred Radunzel:

Yep. But in the meantime, definitely reach out to us, quadcitysafety.com. Reach out on our LinkedIn page, on our Facebook page, on our Twitter page. You can go to-

Dave White:

We have a Twitter page?

Fred Radunzel:

Yeah, we have a Twitter page at Quadcitysafety.

Dave White:

I think they called it Twitter handle.

Fred Radunzel:

Twitter page. Twitter handle would be like @Davewhitebbw. Yeah, reach out, I’m Fred@quadcitysafety, he’s Dave @quadcitysafety.com. If you want to send us an email direct, we’d love to hear from you. Once again, until next time. Safety has no quitting time. We’ll see you then.

Intro Speaker:

Thanks for listening in to Dave and Bacon’s safety tales. Brought to you by Quad City Safety. Send us your questions on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter at Quadcitysafety, #Safetytales. Or, email them to Fred at quadcitysafety.com. He’s the guy keeping this mess of a show in line. If you like the show, please rate and review us on iTunes. It’s a kick ass way that show that you care about safety.

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