Clear the Air | Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

Accidental carbon monoxide poisonings peak in the month of January.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas which can kill without warning. People experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning are often unaware, because its symptoms mimic many other health issues. Early symptoms include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and tightness in the chest.

Many CO poisonings occur while gasoline powered tools and generators are being used in buildings or spaces without enough ventilation. Sources of CO exposure can include power trowels, space heaters, floor buffers, compressors, concrete cutting saws, and more.

To Help Prevent CO Poisoning in the Workplace:

  • Generators should never be used indoors or in spaces that are enclosed or partially enclosed.
  • Ensure generators have 3 – 4 feet of open space on all sides.
  • Generators should not be placed near doors, windows or vents, as the CO could enter and collect in the buildings.
  • When possible, use tools powered by electricity or compressed air.
  • Ensure space heaters and stoves that run on propane, natural gas and kerosene are properly maintained, and are never used indoors or in enclosed spaces.
  • Opening windows and doors in enclosed spaces may help prevent CO buildup.

If you suspect or have the symptoms of CO poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and seek medical help. For more OSHA safety topics and information, see the OSHA website and their Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Fact Sheet.

Date Posted: 01-03-2016
Tags: carbon monoxide poisoning, carbon monoxide symptoms, co poisoning, osha safety topics, osha workplace safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,