Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is suspected to kill around 50 people in the UK every year, as well as hospitalising 200 others.

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are particularly dangerous because the gas can’t be seen or smelt. Tension headaches are the most common sign of carbon monoxide poisoning, while other symptoms include dizziness, nausea, tiredness and confusion stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

Here are 6 steps employers can take to protect employees from the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the workplace.

  1. Install a CO detector on every level of your workplace and ensure that batteries are replaced frequently.
  2. Petrol or diesel driven generators, boilers, stoves and other appliances should be serviced regularly and safety checked once a year.
  3. Check identification carefully to ensure that your engineer is on the Gas Safe Register. Find a Gas Safe engineer or call 0800 480 5500.
  4. Be vigilant about heating devices in winter. Keep air vents on gas appliances unblocked and ensure there’s enough ventilation around them.
  5. Be aware of the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning and keep your ear to the ground. If employees are experiencing symptoms associated with Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and these symptoms subside when they leave the work site, this may be cause for concern.
  6. If you suspect an employee or employees have been exposed to Carbon Monoxide, turn off all gas appliances, direct affected staff to a well ventilated area and call emergency services immediately.

If you are in any doubt you should consult a Gas Safe registered engineer.