The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) has made a series of recommendations in the fight against tragedies caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills 40 people a year.

The chartered body behind the gas industry has presented eleven recommendations in its report, Carbon Monoxide: Ignorance can be fatal, launched at the Palace of Westminster today, Tuesday October 22nd.

The release of the report follows a groundbreaking conference of the same name which brought representatives from the fossil fuels, medical and safety industries together.

They were asked to examine the various issues which lead to the suffering of thousands from the effects of what many have described as the “silent killer”.

The event was hailed as the first event of its kind to address the issue of carbon monoxide poisoning from every angle. 

Eleven key actions came out of the conference. These were:

Raising awareness:

1. Develop a database of accurate information

2. Develop simple, consistent and powerful messages about carbon monoxide (CO) safety

3. Build on the success of Gas Safety Week

4. Provide support for government-led CO safety initiatives

Improving detection:

5. Improve the uptake of CO alarms by householders and support efforts to make them compulsory

6. Investigate how to improve general awareness 

7. Set goals for healthcare professionals including students

8. Call for further research into the long term effects of repeated exposure to low levels of CO

Emergency responders:

9. Reduce inconsistencies in emergency protocols for reacting to possible CO incidents

10. Promote the importance of every emergency responder being issued with appropriate personal alarm monitors and given appropriate training

11. Promote the clarity of guidelines for maximum exposure levels to CO among emergency responders

In the UK, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning still claims over 40 lives each year and is responsible for more than 200 admissions to hospital and upwards of 4,000 treatments at accident and emergency departments.

IGEM has stated its commitment to fighting unnecessary carbon monoxide deaths and injuries and aims to follow the Ignorance can be fatal conference, sponsored by Wales & West Utilities, with another event in 2014 involving all of the gas distribution networks (GDNs).

The Institution is setting up a steering group to follow up on the eleven actions contained within the report and to turn them into workable solutions.

CEO of IGEM Sarb Bajwa said, “Just one death from carbon monoxide poisoning is one death too many. IGEM is committed to fighting the silent killer and these eleven recommendations are merely the beginning.”

“We want to spread the message far and wide that more can and should be done to stop unnecessary tragedies caused by carbon monoxide and we are determined to be on the front line of that battle.”

In advance of the report’s launch,CarbonMonoxide: Ignorance can be fatal was reviewed by a number of people involved in the conference.

Roland Wessling founded The Hazel Woodhams Memorial Trust in memory of his partner, who he lost to carbon monoxide poisoning.

He said, “I, and many others, consider this event to have been one of the best efforts in tackling CO-related issues to date. IGEM and the organisers can be truly proud of what they have achieved already and I am very much looking forward to what is coming next.”