Most people are familiar with the term Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, but far fewer know what the symptoms or causes are. Each year in England and Wales over 40 people die and around 4000 go to hospital as a result of CO poisoning, and that may just be the tip of the iceberg. As improvements in diagnosis occur, many more people may be linked to CO poisoning as the cause of their long-term illnesses.
This is one of the reasons why the Gas Safe Charity is funding a twelve-month project to raise CO awareness amongst organisations across the UK who work directly with vulnerable people in their own homes. The project’s overall aim is for the people your organisation helps and employs to be more CO aware and to, ultimately, save lives.
The project wants partner organisations to adopt a CO aware message in their publicity, resources and training, using the free materials produced by the project. The charity wants more staff and volunteers to recognise the causes and key signs of potential CO poisoning when working with service users and, if CO poisoning is thought to be a problem, to know what to do and where to go for help.
There are 3 key ways your organisation can get involved:
- Receive and use the prepared information to include in your newsletter, add to your web site or link to your social media. You can also receive a single PowerPoint slide with script to be slotted into any relevant training and an A4 poster aimed at front line workers.
- Use the stand-alone 15-minute presentation with a script that can be delivered by anyone (no knowledge about CO is needed). The presentation can be delivered at team meetings, induction sessions, as part of a training course or at a conference plenary or workshop.
- Become a registered ‘CO Champion’ organisation. Gas Safe Charity will visit and deliver a free 2-3 hour ‘train the trainer’ session for staff, who can then become CO Champions within your organisation and promote the message more widely with fellow staff and volunteers.
Gas Safe Charity also wants to encourage individuals to use their new knowledge to make a pledge to undertake a personal CO related action during Gas Safety Week in September 2015. This can be work related or can be a personal pledge.
If you would like more information or would like to receive any materials, including the stand alone 15-minute presentation, please get in touch with Simon Main or Hilary Bath at [email protected]