Workers across the restaurant and beverage industries continue to be at the highest risk of injury and potential fatalities in regards to carbon dioxide (CO2) exposure and CO2 leaks. Yet, CO2 continues to serve a vital role in these industry applications.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is used across a variety of hospitality, restaurant, franchise, and commercial facilities because the gas provides the sensational "fizz" in so many dispensed beverages like soda or beer.
Is there really a need for a CO2 detector?
The answer is, yes. Unfortunately, things can go wrong without proper carbon dioxide monitors installed.
In fact, CO2 is an inert gas and while not declared hazardous by OSHA, it can be deadly in elevated concentrations. To mitigate the hazardous risk many states require certain precautions when working in and around its undetectable presence.
Without these proper precautions in place, the gas can cause severe negative health effects to individuals working around the gas - such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness, and even fatality.
Additionally, it is also important to keep your facility compliant with the regulations in place requiring co2 detectors or monitoring devices.
Facilities that are out of compliance have received fines exceeding $500 per day plus court costs in some jurisdictions.
Below we've compiled 6 easy to follow, operational guidelines, to ensure that your restaurant, beverage facility, or establishment, complies with the state and local safety regulations and codes.
1. Educate your staff and team members on CO2 detection.
It is important to always remember as an industry leader you should reinforce the importance that working in and around carbon dioxide could result in serious injury or fatality.
Being able to address worker safety issues and discuss which procedures or areas could hold potential Carbon Dioxide (CO2) leak points is paramount. Conducting a facility survey as well as an employee assessment is the first step to understanding your hazards and creating a plan to mitigate them in an effort to reduce the rate of incidents and improve overall employee awareness.
Education and training are the most important aspect of employee safety.
Having co2 monitors and detectors is critical but training employees about these devices, and alarm procedures is also vital. Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air, and paying attention to the level of CO2 in your workspace will save lives.
2. Invest in proper CO2 safety detection devices.
It's critical to your business to provide peace of mind to your employees by ensuring you have the proper safety monitoring devices in place to detect
potential CO2 incidents and furthermore, provide protection for your workplace.
CO2 leaks can occur in different places but specific locations stand out: CO2 tanks, micro-bulk and cylinders, BIB racks, carbonators, and walk-in draft coolers. For brewery or beverage industries it is near fermentation, brite tanks, and walk-in draft coolers.
It is important to always prevent the escape of carbon dioxide gas by fully closing valves on cylinders or tanks BEFORE disconnecting hoses.
Without proper fixed and wall mounted indoor safety monitors, personal handheld monitors or CO2 leak detectors in place, employees could experience severe negative health effects or injury, as mentioned above.
If you have employees that spend any amount of time near or around areas where CO2 may be stored, produced or can collect a carbon dioxide detector, is a must.
3. Team involvement in CO2 safety seminars/workshops.
Ensuring safety in the workplace is important, however knowing that there are tools available such as Brewer Association - Podcasts for CO2 Exposure, or MBAA CO2 Safety Toolbox that could act as a valuable resource and provide key insight from brewing, restaurant and beverage leaders.
Creating standard operating procedures or "SOPs" is also critical to staff training and development both for current and future employees.
In the event that someone in your establishment has been exposed to dangerous levels of carbon dioxide, it is important to hold trainings so that personnel recognize how to contact emergency personnel and are trained on when to reenter a confined space that has held increased CO2 levels.
Building a sense of community and trust within the team is a great start to making it easier for the workplace to be open and communicative in terms of understanding CO2 topics in the workplace.
4. Be consistent in workplace housekeeping
Take the time to have one employee learn the intricacies of the CO2 monitoring devices you purchased and then train the other employees.
We offer educational materials such as datasheets, manuals, SOPs, videos and employee guidelines to ensure that your staff is up to date and is fully aware of what steps to take should a CO2 leak ever occur.
5. Stay on top of CO2 safety signage
When it comes to safety, you don't get any second chances.
Understanding the risks in your particular industry can be complicated and being aware of proper safety signage and procedures is one critical component.
Your employees should note that when installing a Remote CO2 Storage Safety 3 Alarm or Fixed Wall Mounted Device that CO2 Safety signage is required to be displayed and affixed to the wall nearest the gas sensor and remote display.
CO2Meter offers this signage complimentary to all customers including those that have not purchased devices from us. We believe strongly in education and awareness so we publish these signs free of charge on our site as downloadable PDF's. We also have a support team available to answer any question you may have in regards to procedure and placement.
6. Use CO2Meter.com Safety Resources
Understanding these simple steps to ensure CO2 safety is the first fundamental step in moving towards a safer and more secure environment for your staff and your workplace. Ensure employees are aware of CO2Meter.com resources, case studies, and articles around CO2 Safety to provide updated industry insight on overall regulations, codes, and standards.
By urging employees to educate themselves on the proper steps to promote CO2 safety and CO2 monitoring, we can ensure a safe and secure environment, one industry at a time.
Should you ever need additional assistance, feel free to reach out to our sales and support safety experts, at Sales@CO2Meter.com or (877) 678 - 4259