As the leaves begin to change and the temperature starts to drop, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases in workplaces throughout Kentucky.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, charcoal, natural gas, wood, kerosene and propane. These fuels are often used in trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. Without proper ventilation for CO, inhaling the gas may lead to sickness or death.

Vehicle and maintenance garages are one of the more commonly-known examples where CO inhalation is a hazard. To avoid the risk of inhaling CO, take all necessary steps to avoid build-up of the gas. If possible, leave garage doors open to ventilate the area or utilize piping/hoses that will route the poisonous gases outside.

CO may build up in an enclosed space of any size provided there is a source for the gas. Eliminate the risk of inhalation by making all employees aware of appliances that may be giving off the dangerous gas. Fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces should be checked by a qualified professional at least annually to ensure they not only operate correctly, but are also properly vented. Additionally, employees should never use outdoor equipment such as grills, camp stoves, generators, or gas-powered lawn equipment (such as blowers or power washers) indoors.

KEMI has developed a full resource discussing the hazards associated with carbon monoxide gas and the steps that employees can take to avoid exposure. Check it out here!