If you are a business in the United States using CO2 in the workplace it is important to keep your staff and customers safe. You can do this by complying with the CO2 exposure limits outlined in safety standards throughout the US. Don’t know what they are? This blog will clarify how you can meet US regulations to ensure the safety of your employees in the workplace.
Living in the EU? No problem, just head here to find out your local workplace CO2 exposure limits.
US CO2 standards, regulations and guidelines:
There are different standards, codes and regulations in place in the United States regarding the exposure of CO2 in the workplace and confined spaces covering bars, walk-in coolers, fast-food restaurants, theatres, stadiums or anywhere gas is being piped or stored, which are as follows:
- OSHA: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration introduced the OSHA CAS No. 124-38-9 requirements:
The OSHA reccomends a long-term exposure limit (8 hour reference period) of 5,000 ppm, and a short-term exposure limit (15 minute reference period) of 30,000 ppm.
- NBIC: National Board Inspection Code Part 1 Supplement 3, Installation of Liquid Carbon Dioxide Storage Vessels
NBIC states that continuous gas detection must be provided. CO2 sensors must be provided within 12 inches of the floor in areas where gas is most likely to accumulate or where leaks are most likely to occur.
- NFPA: National Fire Protection Association 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code (NFPA 55 Chapter 13 Insulated Liquid Carbon Dioxide Systems)
NFPA states that rooms or areas where container systems are filled and used indoors or in enclosed outdoor locations shall be provided with a gas detection and alarm system that shall be capable of detecting and notifying at, or in excess of permissible exposure limits (PEL) and short-term exposure limit (STEL). More conservative set points shall be permitted to be used.
This code states that a gas detection system shall be provided in rooms or indoor areas and in below-grade outdoor locations with insulated Carbon Dioxide systems. Carbon Dioxide sensors shall be provided within 12 inches of the floor area where the gas is expected to accumulate. An audible and visible supervisory alarm must be activated at a concentration of 5,000 ppm, and an audible and visible alarm of a concentration of 30,000 ppm.
How to comply?
It’s quick and simple to comply by taking the following steps:
- Complete a risk assessment of the area to assess where and how many sensors you would need. We recommend that a sensor should cover no more than 80m3.
- Install a CO2 gas detection system and alarm, providing visual and audible alerts.
- Check your local legislation regarding exposure limits and set device accordingly
- Add device to your routine health and safety itinerary checks and consider logging an annual calibration and bump test for CO2 sensor
- Deliver training to all staff on what to do in case of an alarm sounding due to a gas leak
- Be safe in the knowledge your people are protected and your business is compliant.
Accidents regarding increased exposure to gas are more frequent than reported, as a ‘near miss’ is not deemed as major news, however the severity of an accident can easily be increased with just a small increase of gas.
The AX60+ is compliant with CO2 exposure limits all over the world
The Ax60+ is a wall-mountable gas safety device for monitoring carbon dioxide and oxygen. The CO2 and O2 sensors are interchangeable and can be fully integrated as part of a multi-point, multi-gas detection and alarm system. The CO2 sensor is set by default to trigger a low-level alarm at 1.5% CO2, an evacuation alarm at 3% CO2 and a time-weighted average (TWA) alarm of 0.5% CO2 measured over eight hours. However, the Ax60+ has user-configurable alarm setpoints and relay outputs in order to comply with the CO2 exposure regulations and standards based on your specific jurisdictional requirements.