TWO vital pieces of equipment donated to the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards by the OECS Commission can be used to save lives in medical emergencies and in the operating theatre, said Anselm Gittens, Head of the Metrology Unit at the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards.
Gittens, in accepting the pressure gauge, time processor card, and electrical energy meter, said the equipment will help enhance the capability of the Metrology Unit.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards is implementing a programme for legal metrology (weights and measures) as well as industrial metrology. The new equipment, he said, were “essential items that we did not have.”
Gittens explained that the pressure gauge will be used for the calibration of pressure gauges on medical equipment after a survey revealed that while “there are pressure gauges on oxygen cylinders at health institutions, there is no system to determine whether the pressure readings on these gauges are accurate.”
He said the new pressure gauge donated by the OECS will enable the SLBS to calibrate the gauges on oxygen cylinders, not just at medical institutions, but also in scuba diving equipment used daily by dive centres across the island. The pressure gauge will also be used to calibrate gauges at plants that sell industrial gases.
The OECS Commission also donated an electrical energy meter to calibrate the domestic consumption of electricity. The device can be connected to a customer’s premises to monitor and compare the power company’s meter to the standard meter, to determine whether the readings are accurate.
Gittens said over the years the Bureau of Standards had received numerous complaints about the accuracy of electricity meters. The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards also undertakes testing of electrical appliances.
As part of the package of equipment from the OECS, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards also received new equipment to measure time and frequency.
“The Bureau has a very accurate time and frequency standard,” Gittens said. “We’re part of the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM). The intention is that we should be able to disseminate time nationally. The idea is that all computers in Saint Lucia will be synchronized with the time standard held by the Bureau of Standards.”
The final piece of equipment, a laptop computer, will make the process of calibration and verification more efficient, he said, by entering data into the software on the laptop while in the field, rather than having to transfer it from paper records.
The new equipment for the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards was purchased under the 10th EDF Regional Integration and Trade of the OECS Region Project. It was part of a consignment of new equipment for agriculture, health, and food safety testing laboratories, and pest risk analysis units across the OECS, valued at EC$309,416.