Are there dangers of gas in telecommunications? 

The telecommunication industry contains includes cable providers, internet service providers, satellite providers and telephone providers and confined spaces. Even simple above ground termination boxes may contain gas hazards that is generated from the cables runs underground. Gases such as methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide can run through the cable trunking and appear when the termination box is opened. 

Fixed systems are also required in “hub sites” and remote buildings. These are locations where cables are terminated and junctions or take off points are put into the networks. The danger risk can occur when a worker is sent to do carry out tasks in these locations, that may not have been accessed for a period of time. All telecommunications companies have these in abundance. 

What are the Dangers?

Those working in the telecommunications industry are at risk from many different dangers, all of which could cause harm to their health and safety. Falls from heights are a possibility due to the location of operations from various elevated vantage points, such as communication towers. Therefore, engineers working in the sector are required to secure harnesses whilst ascending telephone poles to check the cables, obviously with suitable training to do so. 

Workers are also at risk due to their proximity to microwave and RF radiation, known as non-ionizing radiation. Working amongst, or near to, electromagnetic waves can lead to severe long-term health issues, such as cancer and leukaemia, although unproven. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and chronic fatigue are also found in individuals who are exposed to heat waves over a long period of time. Whilst little is proven linking disease to these adverse environments, awareness of them and minimising the risks that could lead to adverse effects is a well-known safety principle. 

Electrical issues such as fluctuating voltage and associated malfunctions and short circuits, put workers at risk of electrocution. Training and proper PPE can help protect workers from these hazards. 

Gas Hazards and Risks 

As there are many confined spaces in the telecommunication industry workers are more at risk from the presence of hazardous and toxic gases here. Hazardous gases can also be linked to seemingly-simple above-ground termination boxes. Gases such as methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide sometimes travel through the cable trunking, and therefore, when the termination box is opened, a build-up of these gases can be released. 

Fixed systems in the telecommunication sector also pose a gas risk, specifically in “hub sites” and remote buildings. These locations are dangerous, where cables are terminated and junctions or take off points are put into the networks. The danger risk can become present when a worker is sent to carry out tasks in locations that may not have been accessed for a period of time. This is very common in the telecommunication sector, where the trend towards more reliable equipment results in a reduce need for intervention. Although a positive, increased risks such as these, and the presence of toxic gases that can harm human health needs to be managed and mitigated. This is why it is so important to make sure that all workers have access to the proper gas detection equipment. 

Enclosed or partially enclosed spaces with high levels of methane in the air reduce the amount of oxygen available to breathe and therefore can cause mood changes, speech and vision problems, memory loss, nausea, sickness, facial flushing and headaches. In more severe cases and prolonged exposure, there may be changes in breathing and heart rate, balance problems, numbness, and unconsciousness. There is also a risk of fire as methane is highly flammable. 

Carbon monoxide (CO) consumption also poses serious health issues to workers, with those ingesting the toxic substance facing flu-like symptoms, chest pain, confusion, fainting arrhythmias, seizures, or even worse health effects for high or long lasting exposures. Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) poisoning causes similar issues, as well as delirium, tremors, convulsions, and skin and eye irritation. High concentrations of H2S can produce extremely rapid unconsciousness and death. 

Our solution 

Gas detection can be provided in both fixed and portable forms. Our portable gas detectors protect against a wide range of gas hazards, these include Tetra 3 and T4. Our fixed gas detectors are used where reliability, dependability and lack of false alarms are instrumental to efficient and effective gas detection, these include Xgard and Xgard Bright. Combined with a variety of our fixed detectors, our gas detection control panels offer a flexible range of solutions which are able to measure flammable, toxic and oxygen gases, report their presence and activate alarms or associated equipment, for the telecommunication industry our panels include Gasmaster 

To find out more on the dangers of gas hazards in telecommunication visit our industry page for more information. 

 Our Partnership with Point Safety 

Background

Point safety Ltd is one of the UK’s leading gas safety consultants with 20 years of experience, knowledge and background in the instrumentation industry. Founded in 2011, it specialises in sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, utilities and telecommunication, providing a range of industries, supplying, installing and maintaining bespoke solutions and the service and supply of test equipment. Point Safety provide constancy to their customers as they believe that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ nor does one solution have to be ‘fit for purpose.

Views on Gas Detection

Portable gas detection is an essential piece of equipment when detecting toxic or explosive gasses and measuring gas concentration. Point Safety puts customers at the forefront of gas detection; they believe that it protects their customers’ plants and processes and, more importantly, helps prevent injury, thereby helping to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of its workers. 

Through the supply and support of Crowcon, our portable instruments allow Point Safety’s customers to have the freedom to have reliable, efficient service with the confidence and knowledge that the equipment being provided allows for the protection of workers and their employees. Therefore, turnaround is important to Point Safety; ensuring a quick and effective service turnaround for all units is essential, ensuring minimal downtime and increased customer satisfaction.

As Point Safety provide the supply, installation and maintenance of the bespoke solutions, the implementation and servicing of their fixed systems that are provided nationwide are vital to their customers. Point Safety are confident that the continuous monitoring of these systems ensures that our customers’ and their employees’ lives are safe and that of their surroundings.

Working with Crowcon

Through continuous communication of knowledge and expertise with Point Safety, our partnership will allow for the supply of gas detection instruments to ensure the safety of those working within the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, utilities and telecommunication industries.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Point Safety, now a trusted partner in the North. Point Safety offers outstanding service to our end-users and is extremely knowledgeable on Crowcon products” – Katherine Winter, Northern Account Manager. Our partnership, Point Safety, allows for the distributors of Crowcon products throughout the UK in portable and fixed gas detectors/systems. Our partnership has also enabled Point Safety to become a Crowcon calibration site, with all its engineers fully trained and certified to Crowcon standards. “Point Safety Ltd are extremely proud to be associated with Crowcon, the leaders in gas detection systems, not only in the UK but worldwide. Their expertise, knowledge, first-class product range, and total support is second to none.” – Dawn Beever, Head of Sales and Marketing.