Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs frequently in the colder months because buildings are sealed tightly to prevent the loss of heat and employees are running equipment that releases carbon monoxide. Sources of carbon monoxide include anything that is powered through combustion (diesel fuel, gasoline, LPG, coal, wood, etc.) Carbon monoxide enters the body through respiration. The only way to detect carbon monoxide is through monitoring equipment.
How can you lower your risk for carbon monoxide poisoning?
• Avoid running fuel burning equipment, such as cars, gas generators, and propane heaters in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces.
• Ensure that you have adequate ventilation in the space when running a carbon monoxide generating piece of equipment.
• Be sure that all equipment that could generate carbon monoxide is well maintained by a competent person.
• Place a carbon monoxide detector in any work area where carbon monoxide may be generated.
It is essential that you know the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. It could be the difference between life and death. If you believe that you or one of your coworkers may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, get to fresh air as soon as possible and notify your supervisor immediately. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
• Feeling extremely nauseated
• Loss of consciousness