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Quiz: How much do you know about carbon monoxide?

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently issued a reminder to employers to protect workers from the hazards of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. According to OSHA, workplaces could be particularly at-risk during the winter months when equipment is used in indoor spaces that have been closed to block out the cold. 

The following quiz discusses information provided by OSHA on carbon monoxide. It can be used to assess your basic knowledge of CO and to refresh your understanding of this common danger. To take the quiz, simply choose the answer to each question that you feel is correct. The answers are provided at the end of the quiz.

1.    Carbon monoxide is:
        a.    A poison gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless
        b.    A common occupational hazard
        c.    Dangerous when inhaled because it displaces oxygen in the blood, depriving vital organs of oxygen
        d.    All of the above 

2.    Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include all of the following EXCEPT:
       a.    Headaches
       b.    Drowsiness
       c.    Talkativeness
       d.    Nausea

3.    A common source of carbon monoxide is:
       a.    Battery-operated tools
       b.    Equipment that uses combustion to operate
       c.    Electronics
       d.    Solar-powered machinery 

4.    Possible sources of carbon monoxide include all of the following EXCEPT:
       a.    Gas generators
       b.    Compressors
       c.    Welding equipment
       d.    Microwave ovens  


5.    Carbon monoxide poisoning usually occurs when workers:
       a.    Use fuel-burning equipment indoors or in semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation
       b.    Use generators outside in open spaces
       c.    Use power tools inside battery-powered vehicles
       d.    All of the above   


6.    To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, employers can:
       a. Install an effective ventilation system
       b. Use carbon monoxide detectors
       c. Avoid the use of fuel-burning equipment in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces
       d. All of the above 

7.    Some personal protective equipment (PPE) that can help to reduce carbon monoxide poisoning includes all of the following EXCEPT:
       a.    A  full-facepiece pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
       b.    Combination full-facepiece pressure-demand supplied-air respirator with auxiliary self-contained air supply in areas with high CO concentrations
       c.    Respirators with appropriate canisters for short periods under certain circumstances where CO levels are not exceedingly high
       d.    Polyurethane masks that change the chemical composition of the air that workers inhale

8.    When you suspect a worker has CO poisoning, you should:
       a.    Refrain from moving the victim
       b.    Move the worker to fresh air immediately, call 9-1-1, and administer 100% oxygen if the victim is breathing or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the victim is not breathing
       c.    Try to get the victim to drink a hot, caffeinated beverage
       d.    Use an automated electronic defibrillator (AED) on the victim 


9.    Some occupations that may be at increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
       a.    Welders, garage mechanics, and forklift operators
       b.    Healthcare workers, nutritionists, and psychiatrists
       c.    Foresters, wetlands biologists, and park rangers
       d.    Teachers, librarians, and students 

10.   If crews are working in confined spaces where the presence of CO is suspected, employers can help to protect employees by:
        a.    Smelling the air to detect CO before allowing workers to enter
        b.    Making sure employees test for sufficient oxygen before entering
        c.    Providing sprays to freshen the air
        d.    Equipping workers with adequate lighting so they can see if the air is tainted with CO 


Answers:  1 – d, 2 – c, 3 – b, 4 – d, 5 – a, 6 – d, 7 – d, 8 – b, 9 – a, 10 –b