Instruments/Monitors/Lone Worker Devices

Trends in ... instruments and monitors

Understand the goal of monitoring

To protect workers from harmful noise, gases and other potential hazards, employers “have the responsibility to monitor their employees in all sorts of ways,” says Stephanie Lynch, Ph.D., CSP, senior technology and research manager for Hoover, AL-based OHD.

That’s where worker safety instruments and monitors come in.

Glen Silver, vice president of sales in North America for Blackline Safety in Calgary, Alberta, emphasizes that for instruments and monitors to be fully effective, both employers and employees need to “ensure the devices are properly calibrated and maintained, and the data collected is accurately reported and stored.”

So, if employers or workers have questions, it’s important that they ask the manufacturer before putting the devices into use.

“Most customers have concerns on the front end about how to appropriately use their instruments and monitors, and then on the back end they need some help understanding their results,” Lynch said. “I always make sure to help a customer understand what the goal of the monitoring is. If you know the specific goal, you can design your monitoring plan much more effectively.”

Ease of use

Instrument and monitor developers are doing their part, too.

“I’ve seen instruments and monitors become more user friendly, more broadly applicable and personalized/individualized,” Lynch said. “I think this will aid in more confidence in performing industrial hygiene and safety monitoring in the workplace.”

Lynch has advice for workers who use instruments and monitors on the job.

“I wish more workers would empower themselves and request monitoring they think would be valuable for their position. Even if they get it wrong every now and then, it will get a conversation started, and I’d like to see more of those conversations initiated.”

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

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