Carbon monoxide is a type of gas that is colorless and odorless. It is typically produced during the incomplete burning of organic matter. This means that the exhaust from motor vehicles, heaters, stoves, fires, many others create carbon monoxide.
Whenever someone breathes in carbon monoxide, they are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Initially, it is non-irritating for human bodies. However, over time carbon monoxide prevents the blood from carrying oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.
Whenever you are exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning, you will experience several symptoms like the flu symptoms. They are headaches, unsteadiness, weakness, nausea, chest pain, and disorientation. However, if you inhale a certain amount of carbon monoxide, you can become unconscious and die.
Even though carbon monoxide detectors reduce your risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, there are still injuries and deaths. According to the CDC, at least 430 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning and over 50,000 Americans visit the hospital due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Recently, there was an employee that died due to carbon monoxide poisoning in Denver Colorado. The employee was performing a routine walk around the yard at their worksite. The yard was the location of concrete forms that had steam curing systems working on them.
This employee went to examine the process of one of the concrete forms that was covered by a tarp. The employee lost consciousness after going under the tarp. Unfortunately, the employee was discovered the next morning and had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. While under investigation, OSHA cited the concrete company with over $36,000 in fines.
There are detectors and standards that help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. It is your responsibility to have these carbon monoxide detectors in your home and workplace. Whenever you have them, your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning reduce significantly.
For more information and training on carbon monoxide, check out the Hard Hat Training Series. Taking their training will help prepare you and ensure better safety in your workplace. Good luck and stay safe!