Monitoring and Measuring Devices
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Both ISO9001 Quality Management and ISO14001 Environmental Management systems
require that devices used for making meaningful measurements or tests should be
calibrated or verified before use. Any calibration must be traceable to a
National or International Standard.
There is an increasing trend for small companies to purchase so called
"calibration boxes" and do it themselves. While this may be adequate as a
verification it cannot take the place of a proper calibration by a calibration
I have witnessed the level of checking that takes place during a routine
calibration and in comparison with a quick plug in check shows how much risk
could be generated by not knowing the level of uncertainty.
Some electricians and electrical system testers are relying on the
calibration box to assure themselves that their equipment is accurate. This may
not be the case and if (when) someone is injured or killed their Insurance
Company may void the policy for the company and the liability would then revert
to the directors/owners for compensation. This could mean seizing of assets, and
at worst bankruptcy.
The small amount of money that is saved by the DIY calibration route may well
prove to be an expensive option. In addition the loss of reputation and damage
to personal pride in the job may well have far reaching consequences.
Generally, the 'calibration boxes' that are available today are designed to
be used for a daily or weekly check of the proper operation of equipment.
However, such checks should no more be relied upon as a demonstration of
accuracy than you would rely upon a check of the dipstick to replace servicing
of a modern motor car.
The message is clear: If you use any monitoring and measuring equipment that
is used for making meaningful measurements or tests then have it calibrated by a
professional calibration house to ensure that the risk is minimal.
About the Author
Chris Eden FIBA, MISSA, AIQA is a director of
Matters Limited, an established consultancy specialising in Quality
(ISO9001), Environment (ISO14001), Information Security (ISO27001) and IT
Service Management (ISO20000).
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-10 18:15:03 in Computer Articles