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Improvements in worker safety through the smart use of new technology



Entec, a supplier of gas detection equipment and instrumentation has recently bought the latest in portable gas detectors to the New Zealand market.

In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the personal use of “connected devices”. Many people regularly use devices like Fitbits, smart watches and mobile apps to track individual metrics. This increase in device connectivity can also be seen in business and industry.

Communication technologies such as wireless, Bluetooth and near field communication (NFC) are revolutionising the way that items within an industrial plant or campus can be connected together.

The latest range of portable gas detectors from Entec’s US-based supplier, Industrial Scientific feature all three of these communication methods.

The proprietary LENS wireless protocol allows individual detectors to be seamlessly linked together so that alarm and gas readings can be automatically exchanged amongst team members. The Bluetooth connectivity allows a gas detector to transmit back to a control room via a connected smartphone or similar device. NFC capability allows multiple detectors to be paired together into networks, or to be paired with a specific user or specific plant location.

“Up until this time, a gas detector would go into alarm and that alarm was obvious to everyone within earshot. With this new ability to connect detectors together, any alarms can be broadcast immediately across the team, and back to the operations hub,” says Bob Weston, managing director for Entec.

“That means a much faster speed of response to alarm events.”

When connected with LENS wireless, the gas readings from one detector can be displayed on one or more of the peer-to-peer connected detectors.  

“So now you’ve armed the first responders – usually the individual’s immediate work-mates – with crucial information,” says Weston.

“They can see what gas their colleague has been exposed to before they go rushing in for a rescue. They can therefore make better decisions about the best and safest course of action to take.”

Entec works closely with their suppliers to ensure that NZ industry stays up to date with the latest in worker safety technology. The last range of portable gas detectors is available through their website.

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