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HSE issues gas detector safety alert

21 September 2011

An alert has been issued to warn workers using a Status Mentor PGD2 gas detector that some of them may be giving false readings due to software configuration. It is recommended these gas detectors should not be used until its software and configuration has been verified.

An alert has been issued to warn workers using a Status Mentor PGD2 gas detector that some of them may be giving false readings
An alert has been issued to warn workers using a Status Mentor PGD2 gas detector that some of them may be giving false readings

This Safety Notice is being issued as a result of investigations by the Health and Safety Executive into the Status Scientific Controls portable gas detector type Mentor PGD2. The instrument is intended to be used for the protection of personnel entering or working in an environment where there is a possibility of flammable or toxic gas being present.

Tests by the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) on behalf of HSE and discussions with Status Scientific, the manufacturer, have determined that the low battery voltage cut-off setting may be incorrect in some instruments having an older version of software.

The older software may allow the instrument to continue to remain active when there is insufficient power for it to work accurately. In this case the indicated measurement may be below the actual gas concentration in the sampled atmosphere and the alarm may not be activated when the actual gas concentration reaches the alarm set-point.

The 'low battery' alarm is used to inform the user that there is insufficient power to give reliable readings. The PGD2 has a configuration option to set the low battery threshold, which should be 330.

Status has been sending new instruments out with an updated battery count of 330 since 2005 and the Status service engineers have been updating PGD2 instruments and checking that battery counts are set correctly.

This parameter does not affect the workings of the instrument until the low battery becomes too low to power the sensors.

The manufacturer has confirmed that providing the PGD2 has a setting of 330, it will give reliable readings throughout its battery life.


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