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Guideline No. 11: Gasoline operated equipment
- All gasoline engines produce carbon monoxide in higher concentrations than propane powered engines. Use of propane or natural gas powered equipment should be considered in place of gasoline powered equipment where possible.
- Carbon monoxide can rapidly build up in an indoor area, and individuals can be overcome without even realizing they are being exposed. Symptoms of exposure include confusion, headache, dizziness, fatigue and weakness. It is important to provide education and training regarding the signs and symptoms of overexposure to personnel who may potentially be exposed.
- Good equipment maintenance including engine tuning, is the most important measure for controlling the rate of CO emission. A well tuned engine can produce CO concentrations as much as 1000 times lower than a poorly tuned engine. Effective engine tuning requires a measurement of the CO in the exhaust stream. If the equipment is leased, engine tuning should be part of the lease agreement.
- Adequate ventilation shall be provided if internal combustion engines are to be operated inside of buildings or enclosed structures (as per section 127 of Reg. 851). In these situations, monitoring of CO concentrations should be carried out in the exposure area so that the provision of adequate ventilation can be assured. Measurements should be made through the use of calibrated equipment by a person trained in the proper use of the equipment who understands its limitations. A direct-reading CO meter that can warn against potential exposure above current occupational exposure limits may suffice for this purpose. Current occupational exposure limits for CO are 25 ppm as an 8-hour time-weighted average limit and 100 ppm as a 15-minute short term exposure limit as specified in Regulation 833.
- Exhaust gases shall be adequately converted to ensure the health and safety of workers (as per section 127 of Reg. 851).
- Such equipment should not be parked near exits, as this poses a fire safety hazard.
- All equipment should be equipped with an emergency stop control.
- Any extinguishing system shall be appropriate for the task, equipment or situation (as per section 123 of Reg. 851).
- When an internal combustion engine is operating, a qualified worker should check the operation of the engine as often as deemed necessary.
- Gasoline engines shall be refueled outdoors, with the engine stopped, and with no source of ignition within three metres of the dispensing point (as per section 61 of Reg. 851).
Updated: April 27, 2022
Published: April 27, 2022