Safety Tip of the Week – Carbon Monoxide

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace can be a serious problem. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause serious illness or death if it goes unnoticed in the air. It has been called the “silent killer” because without the proper safety equipment, it will be virtually unnoticed until poisoning symptoms begin to appear.



Symptoms of CO Exposure:

Unfortunately, the symptoms of CO poisoning–nausea, headache, and dizziness–resemble other common illnesses, and can be easily mistaken for a cold or stomach flu.

Symptoms to be alert for include red eyes, weakness, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. If you notice a pattern to these symptoms when engines are running in the area, carbon monoxide could be the cause. Forklifts, whether diesel, propane, or gasoline powered, are significant CO producers, especially when left idling.

If it is suspected that a person has succumbed to CO poisoning, he or she must be quickly removed and taken immediately to an area where fresh air is available. CO poisoning and oxygen deprivation is a life threatening situation. The affected person should be immediately taken to the nearest medical treatment facility.

Preventing CO Exposure

  • Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements. Opening windows and doors in an enclosed space may prevent CO buildup.

  • Make sure the generator has 3-4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation.

  • Do not use a generator outdoors if placed near doors, windows, or vents which could allow CO to enter and build up in occupied spaces.

  • When using space heaters and stoves, ensure that they are in good working order to reduce CO buildup and never use in enclosed spaces or indoors.

    Safety is a frame of mind…So concentrate on it…all the time!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_34_DangersCarbonMonoxide.pdf (95.86 kb)

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