According to the International Labour Organisation, approximately 7,500 people die everyday due to work related accidents caused by unsafe or unhealthy conditions- that’s more than 2.7 million deaths per year!
To support the World Day for Health and Safety at Work campaign, today’s blog is going to focus on the dangers of CO2 in the workplace and why you might need a CO2 monitoring system. CO2 safety is an issue that often is disregarded, however with the rise of CO2 leak incidents in the workplace, it’s important to know the dangers of carbon dioxide and how to protect yourself from them.
Where is CO2 used?
The use of CO2 in the workplace is very common and is used across a number of facilities including: fast food restaurants, breweries, bars, pub cellars, laboratories, refrigeration environments, walk-in coolers and many more.
CO2 also has a number of unexpected uses for example: the production of crumpets and the cultivation of cannabis! Check out our previous blog post to find out more about the weird and wonderful uses of carbon dioxide.
But we exhale carbon dioxide, how can CO2 be harmful to humans?
This is the typical reaction to finding out that CO2 can be seriously harmful to our health! It is true that humans exhale carbon dioxide, and the level of CO2 normally in the atmosphere is harmless. However, an increase of levels as small as 0.5% in a working environment can cause serious negative health implications on the human body, especially in confined spaces.
To find out more about the different levels of carbon dioxide in the air and how this can affect you, read this document.
What are the common symptoms of CO2 exposure?
It’s easy to be exposed to CO2 without knowing because it has no taste or smell, making it very hard to detect. However, if you are exposed you may experience the following symptoms:
- Increased breathing rate
- Reduced hearing ability
- In more serious cases, those exposed may experience loss of consciousness, falling into a coma and ultimately death.
If you are experiencing these symptoms and believe you or someone around you has been exposed to CO2, seek medical help urgently.
Remember that CO2 gas is not to be confused with CO, both can be harmful to your health but they are completely different gases. Click this link to learn the differences between CO and CO2 and the different health hazards associated with them.
How to protect you and your staff from CO2 leaks
As already mentioned, CO2 gas is completely tasteless, colorless and odorless, which is why the use of a CO2 detection system is vital in facilities that use carbon dioxide. There is a range of CO2 monitors to choose from, both fixed and personal, your choice should be determined based on your facility.
If you’re unsure about which CO2 monitoring system you need, you can find out more here.
CO2 Exposure Level regulations and standards
Depending on where you are in the world, it is likely that there are CO2 exposure limit regulations in place, especially applicable to the workplace.
Ensure that you are complying with your local regulations now:
Join us in raising awareness for CO2 Safety in the workplace!
In conjunction with World Day for Health and Safety at Work, we feel it’s a great chance to increase the awareness of CO2 safety. Hopefully this blog post has shed some light on the reasons why CO2 safety should not be overlooked and why we should spread the word about the need for CO2 monitoring systems.
We provide life saving gas equipment for all industries, our people, keeping your people safe.