OSHA Reminds Employers to Prevent Workplace Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Carbon monoxide overexposure symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, or tightness across the chest. Severe overexposure can lead to neurological damage, coma, and death.

OSHA issued a reminder Feb. 12 to employers to take necessary steps to protect workers from the serious and potentially deadly effects of carbon monoxide exposure. The reminder follows recent incidents highlighting the need to educate employers and workers about the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure from portable generators and other equipment within enclosed spaces.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas, so it is important that employers and workers are familiar with the symptoms of overexposure. Carbon monoxide overexposure symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, or tightness across the chest. Severe overexposure can lead to neurological damage, coma, and death.

Carbon monoxide poisoning leads to the deaths of workers every year, usually when fuel-burning equipment and tools are used in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces that aren’t properly ventilated. The danger increases during the winter, when this type of equipment is used in indoor areas that have been sealed tightly against cold temperatures and wind.

In addition to space heaters and portable generators, carbon monoxide sources can include anything that uses combustion to operate, like power tools, compressors, pumps, welding equipment, furnaces, gas-powered forklifts, and motorized vehicles.

According to OSHA, employees can reduce the risk of workplace carbon monoxide exposure by installing an effective ventilation system, avoiding the use of fuel-burning equipment and vehicles in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, and using carbon monoxide detectors in areas where the hazard may exist. Employers should also take other precautions as outlined in the agency's Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet.

Additional OSHA resources on carbon monoxide include videos, QuickCards, and a fact sheet on portable generator safety.

Product Showcase

  • Magellan X Pte Ltd

    Hesitate No More with SOL-X Connected Worker Health & Safety Solution

    According to the National Safety Council, work-related medically consulted injuries total 4.26 million in 2021 in USA alone. SOL-X solution prevents “human factors” safety issues by anticipating incidents and improving compliance workflows. Leverages digital technologies (IIoT, AI and analytics) to predict patterns from occurring and make informed decisions. Control Of Work - gets rid of tedious paperwork and experience digital workflows. Crew Protect - maximises safety and situational awareness with health trackers and situational indicators. Award-winning Intrinsically Safe SmartWatch – innovative features that enable near real-time visibility and connected well-being. Works well with major connectivity protocols like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Long-Range Bluetooth! 3

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi-gas detector that runs continuously for three years without needing to be recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Additionally, it is durable enough to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, which is why it has an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as Gas Clip Technologies’ new GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. 3

Featured

Webinars