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Carbon Monoxide – an Invisible Danger

- December 21, 2018 by Guest Bloggers (View all posts by Guest)

Winter is here and in much of the country that means cold weather.

Often, this also means that doors will be closed to conserve heat. Gasoline and diesel-powered motor vehicles, forklift trucks, air compressors, space heaters and pressure washers may remain operational—production must carry on after all. Any of these petroleum fired engines can produce carbon monoxide (CO) as part of incomplete combustion. The replacement of fresh air from the outside, into the workplace, will be restricted when the doors are shut. The result of these two factors could lead to what is commonly known as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is a clear and odorless gas. It kills by binding the hemoglobin in the blood. A small amount of carbon monoxide (200,000 parts per million) is all that is needed to begin the effects by reducing the level of oxygen delivered to the body though the flow of blood.

Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (in order of severity) include:  headaches and dizziness, nausea, drowsiness or disorientation, unconsciousness and eventually death.

So, how can you recognize the presence of carbon monoxide?

These are a few suggestions to detect and reduce CO exposure:

  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor and train everyone on what to do it the alarm sounds.
  • Reduce the length of time that a petroleum powered engine is permitted to work indoors, or move it outdoor.
  • Ventilate the work space with ventilation fans, exhaust fans, or building openings.
  • Train employees on the symptoms and consequences of carbon monoxide in the environment.

Let us know how you’re preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your work environment. Please share your suggestions and solutions below.



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