Wednesday Work Tips

Carbon Monoxide

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.

Minimize Risks

  • 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.

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