CoGDEM was created as a trade association whose activities are wholly financed by its members in 1974 by the UK's leading gas detection manufacturers. CoGDEM became the co-ordinating body of the GD, GA and EM Industry, representing the collective interest to Government, EC Commission, BSI, and other trade and professional bodies.

An original objective was to be represented on BSI committees involved in gas detection and to address issues raised by the CEG (Coal, Electricity, Gas) committee's draft gas detection standard. CoGDEM joined BSI committee GSE/29 (now EXL/31/1) which created BS 6020 for flammable gas detectors.

Subsequently, further toxic gas and domestic flammable gas detector standards were agreed and CoGDEM sits on all the sub-committees that have worked, or still work, on these standards. CoGDEM is also represented on CENELEC, ISO and IEC committees where British standards are often the draft documents used to create EN and global IEC and ISO standards.

Since the 1970's, BSI, CENELEC, ISO, IEC, ASTM and other global bodies have created standards for flammable, toxic and oxygen gas detection, based on EN 50 054-058, which was previously based on BS 6020, itself derived from the CEG's original draft gas detection standard which inspired CoGDEM's creation 40 years ago. These standards have further evolved into the 60079 series, with 60079-29-x specifically covering workplace gas detection apparatus. EN 45544 and EN 50104 cover toxic gas and oxygen detectors and IEC versions are underway.

CoGDEM’s Industrial Sub Group members are kept up to date with Hazardous Area standards related to the ATEX Directive and the IECEx scheme, through its participation in EXL/31 and L/6/10 activities.

CoGDEM continuously reviews its scope, membership and profile. Originally restricting membership to manufacturers, it now includes anyone "active in the business of gas detection".

CoGDEM's name reflects our members' scope and interests including those that service the consumer/domestic markets. This has emerged from the increasing concern of carbon monoxide related domestic incidents. CoGDEM was instrumental in preparing BS 7860 and EN 50291 for domestic CO detectors, BS 7927, BS 7967, EN 50379 & TS 50612 for portable flue gas analysers, and BS 8494 & EN 50543 for carbon dioxide analysers. CoGDEM was instrumental in EN50545 covering CO detectors for car parks and tunnels.


CoGDEM has good relationships with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and others able to contribute to reducing the number of incidents and improving the standard of available gas detection equipment. It has participated in various industry and academic projects, such as those organised by British Gas Technology (Advantica/GL Nobel Denton) and Liverpool John Moores University to find effective ways of reducing the number of CO incidents. CoGDEM members attend meeting with MPs who run the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) and continues to sponsor some of this Group’s events. It is also an Advisory Board member of the CO All Fuels Action Forum and the Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG).

For more than forty years, gas detection has developed into a significant industry employing thousands of skilled personnel in the UK, with significant export sales. CoGDEM is involved in all areas of gas detection and safety, from regulating the quality of domestic CO and combustible gas detectors to improving the manufacturability of complex, infrared open path detectors, with the full participation of manufacturers, certification authorities and research establishments. Relevant CoGDEM experts helped to construct the complex EN 50402 standard, concerning the Functional Safety of the hardware and software within workplace gas detection systems.

Another key project has been the creation and publication of the ‘CoGDEM Guide to Gas Detection’, a hard-back reference book giving authoritative guidance on all aspects of workplace gas detection. CoGDEM members contributed text, ensuring that the book is up-to-date and pragmatic. The book was launched at the biennial WWEM exhibition and conference, an event where CoGDEM coordinates the ‘Gas Detection Zone’ of exhibitors and workshops.