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Mercury instrument hire helps protect oil rig safety

21 June 2011

Portable mercury monitors hired from instrumentation specialist Ashtead Technology have enabled the rapid assessment of working conditions for safety specialists undertaking vital maintenance checks on oil rigs in the North Sea.

RBG, the leading provider of inspect, assess and repair (IAR) services to the global energy industry, has been using advanced Jerome J405 Mercury Analysers to monitor conditions on a number of rigs prior to maintenance and safety inspections.

RBG’s Technical Support Engineer Colin Bones explained that the portable J405s are regularly hired from Ashtead Technology for rentals of varying lengths; from a few days to six months.

He said: “Alongside other gas detection work on the rig, the J405s help us determine potential exposure levels for when further work, such as tank and vessel entry. By deploying the J405s at this preliminary stage we are able to identify the correct personal and respiratory protective equipment, such as full face respirators or SR100 half face masks which minimise the potential for exposure.

“Once the monitoring has been undertaken and we have established a safe working environment, we are then able to carry out any maintenance work required. This can vary from splitting pipework and flanges, removing sludge and contaminants from tanks, to inspecting and cleaning pipes.

“Because the frequency of this work can be irregular we decided that a standard rental from Ashtead Technology best suits our needs and provides us with instant access to advanced instrumentation to ensure we can react to client demands.”

The J405 utilises the industry-proven and reliable gold film sensor technology and simple, one-button operation. Key features include improved ergonomics from previous versions, a larger display as well as improved data storage, retrieval and communications. It can be used across a wide range of mercury-related applications, including mercury spill response, landfill monitoring and hazardous waste analysis.

Alan Hasson, Ashtead Technology’s General Manager, added: “This application highlights the many benefits of instrument rental. The instruments were delivered tested and ready for immediate deployment, which meant that RBG was able to save time in preparing for the work. At the end of the hire period, instruments are simply returned to us, so there are no ongoing maintenance or storage costs.

“Our overall aim at Ashtead Technology is to put the right instruments into the hands of those that need them; which means that we need a large fleet of the latest technologies, a high level of technical support and a range of financial packages that meet customers’ differing needs."

Further information on Ashtead Technology’s comprehensive fleet of non-destructive testing, remote visualisation and environmental monitoring instrumentation is available at www.ashtead-technology.com/uk
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