Successful CO2 Area Monitor Trials Conducted
May 14 2014
A trusted global food brand with a pizza production plant based in the North West, UK approached a1-cbiss (also based in the North West, UK) to provide a low-cost solution for on-site Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas leak detection trials. The CO2 gas monitor was to be used during the dough proofing process to identify any potential CO2 dangers for both the plant and personnel in the immediate area.
The manufacturing is responsible for the production of all frozen pizzas for UK supermarkets and food chains. All frozen pizza production is to exact specification to ensure that “quality is the best recipe.” To maintain such high quality standards and safety standards numerous measures are taken to identify potential risks during the production process.
As part of the process, yeast is used to ferment the dough and maintain the freshness of the pizza dough. However, when the yeast is left to proof it chemically reacts to produce CO2 as a by-product. Commonly known for its asphyxiating properties and its ability to displace Oxygen, these levels of CO2 began to cause concern for the health and safety manager.
CO2 has a density that is heavier than air and as a result it collects in small toxic pockets low on the floor and can build up in cellars and confined spaces. As CO2 is a mild asphyxiate, these pockets of CO2 can be hazardous to personnel. At exposure levels above 5% vol, personnel may begin to feel fatigue to the point of exhaustion merely from respiration and a severe headache.
Due to the dangers presented by a build up of CO2 the health and safety manager decided to initiate trials to ascertain if the CO2 levels peaked those set by the EH40 guidelines. The outcome of the trial would conclude if a fixed gas detection system was needed.
As the gas detector was only needed for initial trial phases, a1-cbiss had to be sure to provide a continuous gas data logger that could be left in-situ but was also within budget.
After concluding a site survey a1-cbiss were able to provide the BM 25 area monitor which is designed to offer monitoring of up to 5 gases over a reasonably lengthy period of time – up to 170 hours.
The BM 25 was issued on a monthly hire, complete with CO2 sensor and data logging software/download cable. This enabled the health and safety manager to complete some testing in and around the Dough Proofer and Waster Room areas to see what typical CO2 levels were experienced.
The automatic recordkeeping and option to export records to view trends and metrics has been invaluable for the global food company and in particular for the Health and Safety Manager. The success of the BM 25 has since encouraged the production company to purchase their own BM 25 from a1-cbiss.
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