What One Needs To Know About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Work

Carbon monoxide poisoning is more popularly known as the silent killer. Get to know what carbon monoxide is and how it can have a poisoning effect to people. Find out what are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also included in this article are the steps to take once carbon monoxide poisoning occurs at the workplace.

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

The culprit, carbon monoxide is actually called a silent killer because one may not even know that this chemical is poisoning the body already. One cannot smell, hear or see it. Since carbon monoxide is the result of an incomplete combustion of petroleum or natural gas, breathing in this chemical can deplete the body organs from oxygen. This chemical can cause death in a short period of time. This is why it is important how to prevent this from happening and what to do when one has the symptoms of it.    

What causes the poisoning?

Source of poisoning through this chemical may come in the form of engines of vehicles left running in enclosed places. Other sources include fuel burning appliance and heating systems such as: powerboats, woodstoves, fireplaces, kerosene space heaters, gas appliances including dryers, ovens, and water heaters. Faulty heating systems, gas appliances and fires are also common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Who are at risk?

People at work exposed to this type of poisoning are the industrial workers at steel foundries, pulp mills as well as plants manufacturing formaldehyde. Personnel at fire scenes are equally at risk as well as those working with combustible gases indoors. Those who use electric generators during a brownout and even those riding boats without proper ventilation can suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Symptoms may be spotted from mild to severe poisoning. For the mild poisoning, symptoms include: nausea, headache, dry cough, dizziness, abdominal pain and sore throat. As for the severe type of poisoning, symptoms may include hyperventilation, difficulty breathing, confusion, drowsiness, fast and irregular heart rate, loss of consciousness and seizure. Some even lose their coordination and suffer from memory loss.  Note that symptoms may occur after days and months of exposure to carbon monoxide.

What to do when carbon monoxide poisoning occurs at the workplace?

Seeking medical attention should be the first step when carbon monoxide poisoning occurs at the workplace. It is also wise to check on other people at work if they are having the same symptoms because as mentioned, this one is a silent killer. Have the office checked for faulty heating systems or other sources where the carbon monoxide poisoning may have originated. Installing carbon monoxide alarms may also be helpful in detecting this harmful chemical.

After medical tests are done and there is proof of carbon monoxide poisoning at work, it is wise to have this logged in detail on the company’s work accident book to support any compensation for the carbon monoxide poisoning. Seek the help of a claims solicitor for faster processing.