Exposure to excessive levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal, but you cannot always count on sensors and warning systems to tell you there is a problem. You need to know what signs to look out for. When you notice them, it may be time to seek medical help and warn other workers of the problem.
Here are a few possible signs to keep in mind:
- Losing consciousness. This could indicate that the levels are very high. People who actively pass out may be at serious risk of fatal exposure if they are not promptly removed from the area.
- A dull headache. You may notice that it just refuses to go away, even if it’s not getting worse.
- Trouble seeing. Your vision could get blurry and you may find yourself rubbing your eyes or blinking to clear them.
- Trouble breathing. You are not getting enough oxygen, so you may feel constantly short of breath.
- General weakness. Your body just does not respond the way you want it to and you feel fatigued for no reason.
- Confusion. You start having trouble thinking clearly or recalling short-term memories.
- Dizziness, nausea and vomiting. As the exposure levels climb, you may start feeling dizzy from the lack of oxygen. This can cause you to feel sick, and you may even throw up.
Pay careful attention to these signs. If you think you are being exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide, tell your co-workers immediately and get out of the area. You may need medical treatment, you could miss time at work after the incident and you must know all of your potential rights to compensation.