The Importance of Training for Carbon Dioxide Detection

A walk-in cooler where carbon dioxide detection is most important.

The Importance of Training for Carbon Dioxide Detection

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential component of draught systems, as it helps to carbonate beer and other carbonated beverages. CO2 is also used to push beer and other beverages from kegs to the taps, ensuring they maintain their carbonation levels and remain fresh. However, despite its importance, CO2 can also be dangerous in draught systems if proper carbon dioxide detection is not implemented.

When training restaurant and bar staff about safety precautions, it is vital to emphasize the potential dangers of exposure to carbon dioxide (CO2) from draught systems. Without proper education, CO2 can pose a life-threatening hazard in the workspace, including symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and in serious cases, asphyxiation. As part of the training program, all staff should be aware of how to detect high levels of CO2 by recognizing common side effects such as blinking lights or whistling noise around connection areas. Furthermore, they should have an emergency response plan ready if contact with excessive CO2 presents itself. Ultimately, ensuring a safe work environment requires robust safety protocols and consistent education on the risks associated with these atmospheres.

What is the Purpose of CO2 in a Draught System

CO2 is an essential component of draught systems used to carbonate beer and other carbonated beverages. The pressure created by the CO2 forces the beer out of the keg and into the lines, ensuring that it maintains its carbonation levels and remains fresh. In addition to its role in carbonating and pushing beer, CO2 helps to preserve it. When beer is exposed to air, it can become stale and lose its flavor. CO2 creates a barrier between the beer and the air, preventing oxidation and preserving the beer’s flavor and aroma.

Dangers of CO2 in a Draught System

While CO2 is essential to draught systems, it can also be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that is heavier than air. This means that it can accumulate in low-lying areas, such as the bottom of a keg or a cellar, and displace oxygen. If a person were to enter such an area without proper ventilation or protective equipment, they could quickly become unconscious or suffocate.

Another danger of CO2 in a draught system is over-pressurization. If too much CO2 is used to carbonate beer or push it through the lines, it can create excessive pressure that can cause the keg or other components of the system to fail. This can result in leaks, ruptures, or even explosions, which can be extremely dangerous.

Carbon Dioxide Detection Can Prevent Disaster

To prevent the dangers associated with CO2 in a draught system, it is important to take proper precautions. CO2 detection monitors with alarms are an incredibly effective preventative solution for carbon monoxide leaks. Not only do the alarms perform carbon dioxide detection, but they also offer dual protection in the form of both audible signals and bright strobe lights. It is important to properly maintain these devices by testing them at least once every year to make sure they’re functioning as intended. Doing so helps reduce any potential damage that could be caused by even small CO2 leaks.

Other precautions include:

Proper Ventilation: Always ensure that there is adequate ventilation in any area where CO2 is being used. This includes keg rooms, cellars, walk-in coolers, and other areas where draught system components are installed.

Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain all components of the draught system, including kegs, regulators, and lines, to ensure that they are functioning properly and not at risk of failure. This is a service we are proud to offer at Glacier.

Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the use and storage of CO2 and other components of the draught system. This can help to ensure that the system is being used safely and effectively.

Important Guidelines for Bar and Restaurant Staff

  • Always follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines when operating around carbon dioxide, and remember the following important points.
  • Knowing the symptoms associated with carbon dioxide exposure is critical for staff in. Such symptoms include light-headedness and drowsiness, increased heart rate, an acidic taste in the mouth, and a burning sensation in the nostrils (although this is not always experienced). It is imperative that staff on-site are trained to recognize these indicators of potential exposure and respond rapidly if a coworker displays any of them. In the event that someone experiences such symptoms, they must be moved to a well-ventilated area immediately. Staff should never enter a walk-in cooler alone. This is a safety protocol that can prevent costly – and potentially deadly – accidents. If a person were to become trapped in the confined space of a walk-in for an extended period of time, it could result in physical injury, illness, or worse. A simple buddy system should be implemented so that anytime an employee enters the cooler, there is another still on the outside in case of emergency.
  • The dangers of asphyxiation are not exclusive to walk-in coolers. Anywhere CO2 cylinders and bulk tanks are stored pose a risk for carbon dioxide exposure, particularly when these spaces are small and enclosed. To reduce this risk, areas where CO2 is stored should be regularly tested for dangerous gas levels, with proper ventilation provided where possible. Carbon dioxide detection and open access to airways are key components in mitigating the threat associated with storing carbon dioxide onsite.

Keep Your Employees Safe, Educate Them on Carbon Dioxide Detection

CO2 is an essential component of draught systems, but it can also be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. By following the guidelines above, implementing carbon dioxide detection systems, and taking steps to prevent the dangers associated with CO2, you can ensure that your draught system is both effective and safe for your workplace and workers.

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