The growing brewing and distilling industry in Ireland produces carbon dioxide (CO2) which can be a hazard to workers. Other gases such as ammonia for refrigeration can also be present on sites. Portable gas monitors provide necessary protection for workers in this industry.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs widely in the drinks industry. It has the potential to kill, but not everyone is aware of the true nature of the risk. Many national regulatory bodies set exposure limits above which employees must not be exposed. People die needlessly every year in the drinks industry in tragic and completely avoidable accidents. Use of personal gas protection devices designed to detect CO2 is necessary to protect human life.
There is still a misconception among some that, by monitoring oxygen (O2) levels, they are effectively protecting themselves against CO2. This is not the case, however. Reliance on monitoring levels of oxygen to protect against CO2 has led to fatalities.
CO2 is heavier than air. It is a hazard throughout the manufacturing process, right through to packaging and bottling and even to the bars and eating establishments where the drinks are served. If CO2 escapes, it will tend to sink to the floor, where it can form deadly, invisible pockets and gives off no smell. It collects in cellars and at the bottom of containers and confined spaces, such as tanks and silos.
However, reliance on oxygen alarms to monitor the presence of carbon dioxide has previously led to fatalities. Carbon dioxide can make you unwell at concentrations as low as 0.5%, and extended periods of low level exposure can have severe consequences. This is long before the lack of oxygen becomes an issue. Even 7% of CO2 has been shown to kill in 5 minutes. To ensure safety, correct use of a CO2 personal monitor is essential. In larger locations fixed gas monitors may be appropriate.