‘Tis the season for carbon monoxide precautions. According to Dean Ross, an agrosecurity and dairy farm management consultant based in Michigan, a two-pronged strategy is needed to prevent and protect against the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning1. Be aware of and have a plan to identify and avoid situations where carbon monoxide could collect.

• In buildings with gas heaters, furnaces, wood stoves, or even water heaters, ensure there is adequate ventilation and that the equipment is properly installed and maintained.

• If you supply employee housing, work with the occupants to ensure stoves and charcoal grills are not being used as a supplemental heat source.

• Prohibit the use of generators, power washers and other carbon monoxide-producing equipment in enclosed spaces.

• Develop and implement safety procedures which require an open door or ventilation point when operating combustion engines on the farm.

2. Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in sleeping rooms in farm dwellings and in enclosed work spaces on the farm where potential exposure to the exhaust from gas-powered heaters, water heaters and internal combustion engines may collect.

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