Carbon Monoxide in the Workplace

Carbon Monoxide

Air Quality is Crucial

In recent decades, awareness of carbon monoxide has increased substantially. Yet, even as more people become aware of the harmful effects of the gas, it remains a major problem in forklift work sites. To its credit, the OHSA has set a strict limit of 35 parts of the gas per million parts of air (over an 8 hour workday.) Still, carbon monoxide remains a major hazard in forklift work sites, particularly those that do not receive sufficient ventilation. For this reason, it is especially common during the winter months, when workers are trapped without proper air circulation. In this post, we review the harmful effects of carbon monoxide and offer some solutions for effectively regulating it.

The effects of carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide has a wide range of harmful effects, which range from causing immediate discomfort to producing long-lasting consequences. Despite these consequences, carbon dioxide remains difficult to police because it has no odor, color, or taste. In the short term, it results in stomach pain, headaches, and dizziness. Meanwhile, over time it can produce damage to the brain and heart and even cause death.

How can carbon monoxide be prevented?

In order to control carbon monoxide, it is important to control the air quality. You should have your workplace tested on a quarterly basis. All worn-out engines should be repaired. Leaky exhaust systems are not able to burn carbon, resulting in elevated carbon monoxide levels. Therefore, it is crucially important to repair exhaust systems as soon as they start leaking.

One useful way of monitoring carbon monoxide is to use a carbon monoxide detector card. This tool is easy to use; all you need to do is keep one in the warehouse. It is also guaranteed to last at least 18 months, and the small size will hardly take up any space in the work place. If the color changes to grey or black, you know that your carbon dioxide emissions need to be examined.

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