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World Steel Day – Highlighting hidden gas hazards

12 May 2015

The World Steel Association chose World Steel Day on 28th April 2015 to highlight the invisible gas hazards identified by the 2014 Safety Audit. A total of 11,400 hazards related to gas and asphyxiation were reported, of which 27% were recorded as being ‘not under control’. 

This evidence suggests that the steel industry needs to do more to identify and to mitigate the effects of the gases which are present throughout the steel manufacturing process.

The challenge for managers, safety officers and operators is that gases are typically invisible and can pose different threats depending on the gas or combination of gases. The many hazardous gases generated in the steel industry include a dusty mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen produced during coke manufacture.  Other gas hazards are introduced during processing, such as pure oxygen (used in Basic Oxygen Steel process) and nitrogen or argon (used during secondary processing).

One solution for multiple risks

These multiple risks can be identified using a multigas detector such as the Crowcon T3, which is used extensively in harsh environments. The T3 is available in versions that simultaneously detect 3 or 4 different gases commonly found within the steel industry: flammable methane (CH4), oxygen (O2) plus toxic gas; commonly carbon monoxide (CO); and/or hydrogen sulphide (H2S) which is toxic and flammable.
The gases produced during coke production pose a particular hazard because the hydrogen can react with the electrochemical sensors used to detect the highly toxic CO, causing an inaccurate response to gas. Therefore, hydrogen filtered CO sensors, which are available on T3, are essential to ensure accurate monitoring.

The grainy ferrous dust generated throughout steel production is another threat to the proper working of a gas detector, because it can prevent gas from reaching the sensor. Removable filters that can be cleaned and replaced, such as those available with T3, ensure that the gas has a clear path to the sensor and so can be detected.

As a rugged, compact and easy-to-use portable multigas detector, the T3 can address the main gas and asphyxiation risks highlighted by the World Steel Association’s audit. As more steel-producing sites become aware of the invisible gas hazards within the industry, the hope is that, by World Steel Day 2016, improvements in the response to managing gas and asphyxiation risks will be evident.

The T3 is just one of the portable and fixed gas-detection products manufactured by gas-monitoring and detection specialists, Crowcon. As specialists in gas detection for harsh environments, Crowcon also offers solutions for gas monitoring and detection systems for a wide variety of specific risks present in individual sites.

Learn more about Crowcon T3 detection systems

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