This Safety Information (SI) is intended to raise awareness about the physiological hazards of carbon dioxide. While the asphyxiation hazard is well known, carbon dioxide intoxication hazard is often not well understood by those involved in the supply and/or use of carbon dioxide.
There have been serious incidents involving carbon dioxide. Tragically, some have resulted in fatalities.
A common cause in these incidents has been a failure to recognise the actual carbon dioxide concentration in the working environment and therefore the hazard. This SI is intended to raise awareness of the hazards of carbon dioxide intoxication, to educate people on the mechanism of intoxication and to highlight the risks of mistakes when analysing ambient air.
The SI makes recommendations on what steps should be taken to minimise these risks and is intended to be used to raise the awareness of those who are working with carbon dioxide, either on industrial gas sites or customer premises.
This version includes extensive revisions to the sections on ‘Carbon dioxide’, ‘What happens when you breathe?’ and ‘Hazard of carbon dioxide intoxication’; providing some additional information and clarity on the physiological processes.