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Watch out for these signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

One of the risks you may face on the job is carbon monoxide poisoning. This type of toxic exposure is especially dangerous if you work in enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation.

It's very important to be able to identify the signs and symptoms as soon as possible. You can often move to a high-ventilation area and recover or seek medical treatment, but ignoring the signs can prove fatal. While alarms help, don't trust your life solely to a device that can fail because of a dead battery. Here are some signs of exposure to look for:

  • You have a dull headache that you just cannot shake.
  • You feel dizzy and have problems with your balance.
  • You feel nauseated or you start vomiting.
  • You generally feel weak, even if you haven't done anything else to warrant it.
  • You feel confused and start acting differently or having problems remembering what you're doing.
  • You have trouble catching your breath and you start breathing far too hard.
  • Your vision gets blurry and you have trouble focusing on things.

The final sign is a loss of consciousness. This is when things get incredibly dangerous. You're still being exposed to toxic levels of this invisible gas, and it could prove fatal if you do not get help. If you see these signs in a co-worker, make sure you take action right away to help.

After an incident, you could need significant medical treatment and you may be out of work while you recover. Be sure you know all of your rights to workers' compensation.

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