Author Topic: Which is safer?  (Read 839 times)

Offline Tomferry

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Which is safer?
« on: July 21, 2021, 09:38:18 am »
Hello all  ;D

Which is safer to use?

A traditional style flame saftey lamp used by a skilled operator

Or

A modern gas decorator used by a operator with a certificate

I have personally worked in drains for quite a few years and got my 4x certificate for a Altair 4x gas detector also done my confined spaces , I spend a large section of my time reading ventilation books and various other subjects that your traditional saftey lamp is mentioned in , I do admit they seem to be very good and accurate how they are spoken about .

According to me this debate comes down to

What percentage chance would a gas detector have of breaking down including the risk of human area by the mine / Cave explorer for example forgetting a calibration not turning it on outside of the confined space etc etc , I am sure you all agree they are not the most simple of things to use 120% correctly but we all try are best .

A traditional saftey lamp I have never used so I cannot comment ? I assume it just needs enough fuel to burn and the chance of a human error reading the flame ?

Welcome to any input feel free to debate  :thumbsup:

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2021, 09:48:16 am »
Hydrogen sulphide --> Toxic levels can destroy the smell receptors and you might never smell it
Now a caged canary *and* a safety lamp, then you'd be talking!
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Online Fjell

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2021, 10:19:37 am »
For C02, H2S, O2 or  methane? I would be inclined to to be using a modern multigas detector.  They have the charming attribute of having the word “SAFE” on the screen when it is. If you are worried take two.

I sincerely hope you are not into H2S, because it just isn’t funny. I have had to design for situations where you could get up to 20% H2S in the air over a large area (that isn’t a typo), when 500ppm would do for you instantly.

Offline Tomferry

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2021, 11:21:38 am »
I am asking this as a general topic chat not for a problem I have , I am  interested in the pro”s and con”s of each item in debate and curious if anyone uses a traditional style lamp still   , I   Am more than happy with my confidence Also the people I go out with  for using the modern items  and understanding them .

 Apologies I am struggling to understand by what you are asking  am I into h2s ?

Tom

Offline Brains

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 12:44:16 pm »
Years ago during the initial bad air scares in the peak, some friends visited a suspect locality with a flame safety lamp as a meter at that time was unavailable. The route taken was quite rocky, and it was decided the lamp had been knocked out. Failure to relight was put down to used error so the trip was abandoned. However the FSL reignited easily after a few yards, so the trip was continued. The FSL again went out, this time it was put down to low oxygen and high carbon dioxide...
User error is therefore a big thing to be aware of.
I also understand that to get the best from a FSL in addition to proper training is the use of the correct fuel (Coselene? Sp?) to get the correct flame properties to interpret.
On a later trip to the same place with a meter a group of us were following the meter bearer when the alarm went off.
"Eh up lads, the betters says oxygen is low" came the shout from up front, followed by "Lads? Lads? Where are you?" as the bearer was now alone! Oh the joys of a learning curve...

Offline LJR

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2021, 02:10:22 pm »
Tom, I think you are mixing up equipment from two different era. The safety lamp was been around for a long time and was the only everyday detector used. Initially it was developed for illumination. It was only a happy spin off that it could be used for gas detection. It's other advantage was it could detect two gas situations, methane and CO2 (blackdamp). When I started in the coal industry in 1971, safety lamps were the standard detector used by everybody. There were just appearing some rather large gadgets called "Methanometers". These were used by shotfirers to test for methane before firing certain types of shots. You could only fire "off the solid" shots in coal if the methane level was below 0.5%. Otherwise the coal must be undercut to give a free face to fire into. Obviously a flame lamp could not detect that small a percentage so methanometers were developed.
Moving on from just methane, detectors were gradually devised that could measure other gases. Initially these devices were definitely not pocket sized!
Eventually usable meters became available and further down the line legislation changed to permit electronic detectors to be the main means of gas measurement.
For many years before, although we had gas meters, if you stopped work or withdrew men due to a high gas reading, you had to declare that it was seen on your flame lamp. The flame lamp was the only legally recognised detector. Early gas meters were nothing like as reliable as those we now have.
So to answer your question, both were good in their day but it is now the time of the multigas meter.
Also, unless you have had some training and quite a lot of knowledge about ventilation and gases, just walking into a gassy place with a multimeter can get you into a lot of trouble very quickly

Offline Tomferry

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2021, 02:38:42 pm »
Thanks Staffordshire as always a wealth  knowledge .

I think being young and never having the chance to see / use a safety lamp it made me very curious , the sections in my book”s are extremely vast to try to understand about the lamps and also learning from reading a book on how to use the lamp would be difficult “not that I plan to “  from what I had read they seemed very good ,  i didn’t realise they didn’t cover all the gasses like the standard modern 4x now I have learnt my answer  :thumbsup:

Yes even with the modern 4x you are not safe without decent knowledge about the item that’s what made me wonder why did everyone jump to using these and not  carry on with the traditional style safety lamp ,

Thanks all  :thumbsup: :beer2:
« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 02:50:31 pm by Tomferry »

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2021, 05:15:16 pm »
... I have had to design for situations where you could get up to 20% H2S in the air .....
WHAT???

I only wanted to make the point to Tom that the flame of a FSL can't really indicate H2S hazard due to the relatively low concentrations that are hazardous. But I was stopped in my tracks by 20%??? comment

In the distant past I've worked places (e.g. refinery) where there were flashing warning lights. Unlike all the usual safety instructions about walk don't run, calmly leave the area etc etc, the one with instruction on H2S, was something like if the lights flashed or there was an audible warning people must immediately RUN to safety
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Offline Tomferry

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2021, 06:37:16 pm »
Thanks Tom  :thumbsup:

Online Fishes

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2021, 07:27:47 pm »
... I have had to design for situations where you could get up to 20% H2S in the air .....
WHAT???

That sort of concentration is only normally found inside a piece of process plant such as a sulphur recovery unit.

Online Fjell

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2021, 08:30:52 am »
Normally. When you have get everyone 5-10 miles away to be safe, things can get interesting in some locations. These things each carried enough cascade air for 50 blokes for about 6 hours. On site was enough cascade for 24 hours.


Offline ttxela2

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2021, 11:03:38 am »
Normally. When you have get everyone 5-10 miles away to be safe, things can get interesting in some locations. These things each carried enough cascade air for 50 blokes for about 6 hours. On site was enough cascade for 24 hours.

Be interested in a fuller explanation of what those chaps are up to? Is some sort of disaster unfolding as their tractor things fall through the ice?

Online Fjell

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Re: Which is safer?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2021, 11:11:28 am »
Teaching people to drive it I think. It’s hydraulically actuated so one bit can drag the other bit out of water onto ice.

 

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