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CO: what you cannot smell can kill you.
Michigan Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation
East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, Department of Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, HA#10, 2007 Oct; :1
Since 2001, 10 workers have died in Michigan from exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can quickly build up to a lethal concentration. Exposure to high levels of CO can cause unconsciousness, coma, and death. In order to prevent similar incidents in the future: 1. Provide training to recognize CO sources and signs and symptoms of CO exposure. 2. Identify all sources of combustion because all emit CO gas. 3. Install a CO detector/alarm meeting the requirements of the current UL standard 2034 or the lAS 6-96 standard in areas where fuel-burning equipment/appliances are present. 4. Ensure a trained professional annually inspects and services fuel-burning equipment and appliances, such as an oil or gas furnaces, gas hot water heaters, or portable compressors. When measuring tailpipe exhaust of LPG fork trucks to minimize CO output, use a CO analyzer specifically designed for that purpose. 5. Use tools powered by electricity or compressed air approved for indoor use when working indoors. 6. Place gasoline- or fuel-powered equipment outdoors and away from windows, doors or vents. CO could enter the building through the openings and build up in the work area. 7. If gasoline- or fuel-powered equipment must be used indoors or in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, such as houses, garages, crawl spaces and basements, vent equipment exhaust outdoors and away from air intakes such as doors, windows or fresh air vents. Provide supplemental fresh air inside the building because even with doors and windows open, CO levels can reach lethal levels in a short period of time.
Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Workers; Humans; Accidents; Hazards; Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas; Safety-measures; Safety-education; Carbonates; Poison-gases; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Respiration; Respiratory-gases; Respiratory-system-disorders
CO: what you cannot smell can kill you
Michigan State Department of Labor and Economic Growth
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division