The Plastics Distributor and Fabricator - Your Industry Magazine
The Plastics Distributor and Fabricator, Your Industry Magazine
Plastic Spacer
News Features Series Articles Columns
Plastic Spacer
Return Home
Article Keyword Search
Author Biography
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
Select issue:


SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Carbon Monoxide Hazards

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas, and is often referred to as the “silent killer.” When inhaled, it inhibits the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.

What are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO.

How is carbon monoxide generated?

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood. This incomplete combustion can occur in any device that depends on burning for energy or heat, such as furnaces, room heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves or grills and any gas powered vehicle or engine. Automobiles left running in attached garages, gas barbecues operated inside the house, grills or kerosene heaters that are not properly vented, or chimneys or vents that are dirty or plugged may create unsafe levels of CO. When properly installed, maintained and vented, any CO produced by these devices will not stay inside the home.

What are some danger signs?

You or other members of your family or at your workplace have symptoms of CO exposure (see above). You notice a sharp, penetrating odor or smell of gas when your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment turns on.

The air is stale or stuffy.

The pilot light of your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment goes out. Chalky white powder forms on the chimney/exhaust vent pipe or soot build-up occurs around the exhaust vent.

How can unsafe levels of carbon monoxide be detected?

Carbon monoxide detectors monitor airborne concentration levels (parts per million) of carbon monoxide and sound an audible alarm when harmful CO levels are present. Be sure that your detector has been certified to the American National Standards Institute ANSI, UL Standard 2034 or, if you live in Canada CAN/CGA 6.19 standard. If you or anyone else in your home or workplace is experiencing the symptoms of CO poisoning, ensure that everyone leaves immediately, leaving the door open. Call your local fire department or 911. If your CO detector sounds, do NOT assume it to be a false alarm. Open all doors and windows to ventilate the area. If you cannot find the problem and the alarm continues, contact the fire department. If there is a strong smell of natural gas, evacuate immediately, leaving the door open and contact your local gas utility. If no symptoms are experienced, reset the detector and check to see if the alarm activates. If the detector sounds a second time, call the local fire department for their assistance. If the detector does not sound a second time, check for common conditions that may have caused a CO build-up or contact a qualified heating contractor to check your fuel-burning equipment.

Where should a carbon monoxide detector be located?

In the home, if only one detector is being installed, it should be located near the sleeping area. Where sleeping areas are located in separate parts of the home, a detector should be provided for each area. CO detectors should also be placed on each level of a residence or business in rooms where combustion devices are located (such as in a room that contains a solid fuelfired appliance, gas clothes dryer or natural gas furnace), or adjacent to potential sources of CO. Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Recognizing this, a CO detector should be located at knee-height. Due to the possibility of tampering or damage, it may be located up to chest height. To work properly, a detector should not be blocked to normal air flow. If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector is used, it should be located on the ceiling, to ensure that it will detect smoke effectively. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional information regarding proper use and maintenance.

To keep safe, please remember:

You have a responsibility to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Your knowledge and actions may save lives. CO detectors are a good second line of defence, but do not eliminate the need for regular inspection, maintenance and safe use of fuel-burning equipment.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

Back To Top
Plastic Spacer

 
Copyright © 2014
Plastics Distributor® & Fabricator Magazine
P.O. Box 669
LaGrange, Illinois 60525-0669
All Rights Reserved.
Header Image courtesy of Nylatech, Inc.

Phone: (708) 588-1845
Fax: (708) 588-1846
Email Us