Considering Cost-of-Ownership Before Buying a Gas Monitor
Posted by PK Safety Team on May 16th 2022
You should consider more than just the price tag when buying a gas monitor, because a lower upfront cost doesn’t mean it offers the best value. Monitoring your workplace for hazardous gases can take time, but safety should never be compromised.
That’s why it’s important to calculate the total cost of ownership when using a gas monitor. Certain devices come with features that can help you save money over time, even though they come with a higher price tag. Keep the following considerations in mind when choosing gas detection equipment for your workplace:
Calibration and Bump Testing
Your workers will need to bump test theirgas monitors regularly before using them in the field to ensure they are working properly. They will also need to calibrate if a bump test fails, or at least every 6 months. This can add to your labor costs, and may reduce productivity if your workers need to continuously take time to calibrate this equipment. Consider how much time your crew will need to get their monitors ready at the beginning of each shift. Full cost of ownership includes the cost of maintenance. Also include the cost of calibration gas to perform the bump tests.
Using an automated bump testing system or docking station will help save your workers time to bump test this equipment, especially if there are several. The monitors will be ready to go at the start of every shift. The system will also help to conserve calibration gas. It will only use the gas when it is exposed to the sensor.
Consider the cost to have your device repaired, including any loss of productivity if your workers can’t perform their essential duties until repairs are complete. Don’t forget to include routine maintenance tasks such as replacing batteries, cleaning your gas monitor and maintaining proper storage of the devices. Choosing a durable device that can withstand everyday wear and tear will help to keep your maintenance costs to a minimum. Consider parts and repairs that are included in the warranty that comes with your device.
The BW Honeywell GasAlert MicroClip X3 4-Gas Detector and the RKI GX-3R 4 Gas Confined Space Monitor come with three-year warranties, while the MSA ALTAIR 4XR Multi-gas Detector comes with a four-year warranty. Read the terms and conditions to see which parts and repairs are included in the warranty.
It will take additional time to train staff members to use and maintain this equipment. You should also post safety information throughout your workplace to increase compliance. Choose a gas monitor that’s intuitive and easy to use, to avoid complications or confusion amongst your team.
Compliance and Reporting
You will also need to spend time and money generating safety reports for compliance purposes. The safety manager will need to devote a portion of their time to creating these reports daily, weekly, or monthly.
Some gas monitoring systems will generate these reports automatically, so your team doesn’t have to spend as much time creating these reports. While some automated systems require users to pay for additional software-as-a-service (SaaS). These programs may cost you more upfront than less sophisticated devices, but this is likely to be offset by minimizing labor costs.
Your workers won’t be able to focus on the task at hand if they are worried about their health and safety. A less expensive gas monitor can lead to a loss of productivity if your workers don’t feel confident in its ability to detect and report a potential leak. Choose a monitor that instills confidence in your team, so they can use their time in the field productively. The device should issue an audible, visual, and vibrating alarm to maximize employee awareness.
The total cost of gas detection will vary widely, based on the type of device you choose. Keep these factors in mind to choose a system that will improve safety and save you money in the long run.