Problems at work associated with alcohol consumption are becoming increasingly relevant and, consequently, more attention is being directed to the detection of breath alcohol and the restriction of access to the workplace of those with detectable alcohol levels.
The Alcolizer Wall Mounted Testers are made in Australia to Australian Standard AS 3547 and have been available for a number of years in South Africa from Runrite Electronics in KZN. Currently there are no SABS standards, but the strictest international standards do apply in South Africa, and OHS Act does make provision for the monitoring of intoxicating substances in order to promote safety.
The installation of an Alcolizer offers staff a self-test system enabling them to test themselves before entry to the plant should they feel they are at risk. A positive voluntary test would not normally attract punitive measures from the employer, other than the possible deduction of the associated waiting time until the worker is able to give a ‘zero’ test. If, however, a worker is caught inside the plant with a positive reading, having not availed himself of the entry test, then clearly he would be in trouble.
The underlying principle in this system is that the workforce becomes self-regulatory because the staff understand the safety risks associated with the effects of alcohol, as well as the unpleasantness of possible anti-social behaviour that often goes hand in hand with alcohol consumption.
The latest data-logging models of the Alcolizer also incorporate relays which can be preset to activate at various alcohol levels and can be used in conjunction with Controlsoft access control systems. The Alcolizer Wall has undergone successful tests with Sasol South Africa to integrate the alcohol breath tester into the access control at a plant in Secunda. A similar project has been installed at Mozal in Mozambique where the user is soft locked on his RFID card and cannot access the plant for a set number of hours or days. In both cases this has resulted in a 100% test scenario, with zero-tolerance.
While the basic principle of self-testing still applies, the enhanced system will enable management to institute either full automatic alcohol related access control or automatic random testing if and when such controls are considered necessary. Anglo Coal has adopted this policy, where self-testing has become the norm with the occasional compulsory random test being flagged via the existing access control system.
The Alcolizer uses an internal cylinder of certified gas to calibrate itself daily. This gas supply is sufficient for at least 12 months of operation and gives ongoing credibility to the test results. Runrite technicians will service and re-fill the machine annually to ensure accuracy and the correct operational standards are met.
The Alcolizer is easy to use and the results are displayed in % BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentrate) to three decimal places.
For more information contact Controlsoft South Africa, +27 (0)11 792 2778, firstname.lastname@example.org
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