International Women in Engineering Day  

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has announced that the number of women moving into engineering professions is increasing and with it bringing ‘crucial’ skills needed to tackle major challenges. Women now make up 16.5% of the UK’s engineering workforce compared to just 10.5% in 2010. The number of women working in engineering roles has risen to 936,000 from 562,000, according to research carried out by EngineeringUK. On a global scale, women make up only 28% of all engineering graduates. 

For International Women in Engineering Day this year we have asked a member of our Research and Development (R&D), Trainee Software Engineer, Neha Singh from our team in India to tell us about her role here at Crowcon and her views on the importance of encouraging more women to get into engineering. 

When did you realise you wanted to get into engineering? 

In my childhood, I used to read in newspapers about people clearing engineering exams and getting into it, and that inspired me a lot, and became my dream. Since then, I have always wanted to be an engineer. 

Tell us about what you do. What does your day-to-day look like? 

I am a software engineer at Crowcon, and I have been working at the company for more than 3 years. I work on software development. A typical day at work involves solving problems, developing new features, and learning new technologies. 

What’s the most difficult part of your job? 

There’s no “difficult” part as such, solving complicated tasks has both ups and downs. If we solve it, we learn, and even if can’t solve, we learn, and that’s the best thing. 

What do you like most about your job? 

The best part is being able to solve the many challenges that come in the way of a project that I’m working on. This is through the digitalisation of our portable products. 

Was it difficult for you, (especially as a woman), to get into engineering? 

No, it wasn’t. I was fortunate to being supported by my wonderful parents, who always stood by me and helped me in achieving what I wanted to become. 

Women now make up 16.5% of the UK’s engineering workforce compared to just 10.5% in 2010. On a global scale, women make up only 28% of all engineering graduates. Why is it important for women to pursue careers in engineering? 

Women are doing good in all aspects of life, and it’s good to see more and more women joining science and engineering, and I am confident that this number is going to increase a lot in years to come. 

What advice do you have for women students who are considering the profession or women currently working in engineering? 

You are awesome, keep rising and keep up the good work! 

National Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

In the UK we are marking Mental Health Awareness Week as well as the month-long observance in the US, we’re reminded that with society changing at a fast pace new norms arise, such as working from home. Many of us try to adapt to both home and hybrid working while building and maintaining both work and personal connections. However, 1 in 5 people are experiencing loneliness. We all get affected by loneliness at one time or another. It can be a driver for and/or a product of poor mental health. Although Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, this week aims to promote reaching out to a friend, family member or colleague and reflecting on your own wellbeing too.

At Crowcon, we are focused on looking after our people, and have put in place programmes and resources to help them feel safe, healthy, and fulfilled. This includes our company employee assistance programme, which provides a range of methods of support and advice.

Crowcon is playing a part in providing an environment that supports and nurtures our people. From mental health first aiders to walking challenges, we try to ensure that our people are supported and feel connected where they work.

There are lots of advice and support to help you on your way:

10 practical ways of looking after your mental health

Changes to Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs)

What Are Work Place Exposure Limits?

Workplace exposure limits (WELs) provide a legal maximum level for harmful substances in order to control working conditions.

Directive and National Standards

The EU Directive 2017/164 establishes new ‘indicative occupational exposure limit values’ (IOELVs) for a number of toxic substances. The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has decided to change UK statutory limits to reflect the new IOELVs. This decision by the HSE has been taken to comply with Articles 2 and 7 of the Directive requiring Member States to establish the new occupational exposure limit values within national standards by August 21st 2018.

Gas Detector Alarm Thresholds

The exposure limits defined in this Directive 2017/164 are based on the risks of personal exposure: a workers’ exposure to toxic substances over time. The limits (configured into gas detectors as ‘TWA alarm levels’) are expressed over two time periods:

  • STEL (short-term exposure limit): a 15 minute limit
  • LTEL (long-term exposure limit): an 8-hour limit

Portable (personal) monitors are intended to be worn by the user near to their breathing zone so that the instrument can measure their exposure to gas. The instruments TWA (time-weighted) alarms will therefore alert the user when their exposure exceeds the limits set within the national standards.

Portable monitors can also be configured with ‘instantaneous’ alarms which activate immediately when the gas concentration exceeds the threshold. There are no standards to define alarm levels for instantaneous alarms, and so we have these generally set at the same thresholds as the TWA alarms. Some of the new TWA thresholds are low enough to make frequent false alarms a significant problem if they were also adopted for the instantaneous alarm setting. Therefore, new portable instruments will retain the current instantaneous alarm thresholds.

Fixed gas detectors only utilise ‘instantaneous’ alarms as they are not worn by the user and therefore cannot measure an individuals’ exposure to gas over time. Alarm levels for fixed detectors are often based on the TWA alarms as these are the only published guidelines. HSE document RR973 (Review of alarm setting for toxic gas and oxygen detectors) provides guidance on setting appropriate alarm levels for fixed detectors in consideration of site conditions and risk assessment. In some applications where there may be a background of gas it may be appropriate for fixed detector alarm levels to be set higher than those listed in EH40 to prevent repeated false alarms.

Re-configuration of Gas Detector Alarm Thresholds

Users of portable gas detectors who choose to adjust their instrument alarm thresholds to align with the Directive can easily do-so using a variety of accessories available from Crowcon. For full details of calibration and configuration accessories visit the product pages at

Other documents you may find useful: