The fall and winter months pose the highest risks for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. CO can be found in areas where you may be burning common materials such as wood, coal, or oil and using fuels such as gasoline or kerosene.
- Follow all instructions and warnings for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene-powered equipment and tools.
- Use tools powered by electricity or compressed air in enclosed areas whenever possible.
- Equipment such as gasoline-powered forklifts or even propane radiant heaters used indoors can also be a source of carbon monoxide (CO).
- Open windows and doors in enclosed spaces to avoid CO buildup. Ensure monitors and detectors are properly working.
- Even working outdoors with gas-powered equipment could expose you to CO dangers after prolonged use. Be aware of airflow and use monitors.
Signs and Symptoms
- Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can mimic the flu like dizziness, weakness, headache, nausea, confusion, chest pain, visual difficulty and then loss of consciousness.
- Severe carbon monoxide poisoning causes brain damage, severe illness, coma and death
- Workers may not realize they are being exposed to a high level of CO in the air they are breathing.
- Pay attention to the signs and symptoms and leave the area if you are experiencing any.