Walk-in coolers are a common refrigerator which can be found in just about every restaurant and supermarket or grocery store. Businesses take many safety precautions surrounding their walk-in coolers, however the dangers of potential CO2 leaks are often disregarded.
As walk-in coolers are small, air tight, rooms, a CO2 leak of any size could not only be very costly, if the source is not identified quickly, but it can also cause significant health risks to those entering the space. As CO2 is odorless, colorless, and non flammable, it’s very easy to be unaware of dangerous and potentially lethal levels of the gas in a confined space such as a walk-in cooler.
The common symptoms of CO2 exposure are nausea, headaches/dizziness, vomiting and in most serious cases, ultimately death. Death from asphyxiation is not common, however there have been incidents where a CO2 leak in a walk in cooler has unfortunately lead to a fatality.
This is why CO2 detection monitors are so important, and a workplace risk assessment should suggest that gas detectors are installed.
Preventing Death or Injury from CO2 Leaks in Walk-in Coolers
A practical solution to protecting yourself and your employees is to install CO2 Sensors and Alarms. Here at Analox, we offer a range of CO2 detectors, both fixed and portable.
Our recommended product for your walk-in cooler is the Ax60+, our wall mounted multi-gas detector. The AX60+ has configurable alarm set-points meaning you can detect and alert people at whichever limit of CO2 you choose. As CO2 is heavier than air, it is recommended that fixed carbon dioxide sensors are not mounted at head height – for example, we recommend that your CO2 sensor is wall-mounted 12 inches above the finished floor in order to detect dangerous levels of CO2 immediately, and the Alarm strobe unit is placed at head height where the gas source is, and at the entrance to the walk-in cooler or room, warning of a potential danger before going inside.
If you work in several walk-in coolers for example as a service technician, you should also protect yourself in case there is no gas detection system installed on site. While you cannot control the safety precautions of businesses you visit, you can protect yourself by using your own portable CO2 monitor, we recommend using our Aspida.