Assessment of Carbon Monoxide exposure in an office (Guisborough)

Recently we were called to investigate the indoor air quality of an office in Guisborough that had grown concerns over Carbon Monoxide exposure. Staff was concerned that their working environment was unsafe on account of Carbon Monoxide, so it was our job to assess the validity of their claims and to ascertain if there was any threat to the health of the people in the vicinity. Carbon monoxide can be very hazardous in certain quantities, particularly with prolonged exposure so it was important to work out whether there was a Carbon Monoxide problem in the surgery. Our strategy was to identify the long-term level of carbon monoxide gas in the dental practice and to establish the daily personal exposure of employees at risk. In worst case scenario’s we would advise on suitable risk control and preventative measures that could be put in place to rectify any problems.

 Air Quality Investigation

Indoor to assess the indoor air quality, and to prove that the premises was suitable for work, it was important to conduct a thorough investigation of Carbon Monoxide exposure. In order to conduct our investigation, we used UL-USB-CO calibrated data loggers over a period of 11 days to carry out measurements of Carbon monoxide in the property. Throughout the duration of controlled assessment, we relied on monitors in the office, near a boiler a and to a member of staff. The staff was given a monitor due to a blood result that indicated elevated levels of Carbon monoxide which were physically concerning. To ensure that the property was safe to work in, we compared the personal exposure levels to the values stated in “Workplace Exposure Limits”. In WEL, a personal exposure of over 50% of the assigned workplace exposure limit is considered significant.

Our Conclusion

 After monitoring the air for the duration of the controlled period, our air monitoring results suggested that the employees were unlikely to be exposed to levels of carbon monoxide above the workplace exposure limits. This meant that the employees were not at an increased risk to health on account of Carbon Monoxide exposure. In conducting our investigation, our primary concern was the impact on the health of staff that exposure to carbon monoxide would have had. However, our long-term carbon monoxide measurements suggested that there were no sources of carbon monoxide gas within the surgery, boiler or home of the dental nurse. As a consequence, there were no physical issues to be rectified within the building. As a result, no action needed to be taken to protect the health of the employees.

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