The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers has joined in partnership with gas distribution network Wales & West Utilities supported by the Carbon Monoxide All Fuels Action Forum to host a FREE one day conference to campaign and coordinate action against the unnecessary deaths, injuries and suffering caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Taking place at Pride Park Stadium, Derby on 11th July 2013 this conference will bring leading experts from diverse fields and industries together to provide the facts and latest research findings on CO Poisoning, with Q&A sessions to bolster learning and dispel myths. Themed breakout sessions will enable attendees to share their views and collaborate with other individuals to recommend ways to raise overall awareness across all industries, improve CO detection and the technologies available which can help prevent CO.
The event is aimed at solid fuel industries, emergency response services, healthcare and educational professionals, Local Authorities, Housing Associations, caravan parks and private landlords.
Speakers include Barry Shearman MP, Baroness Finley and industry representatives from Gas Safety Trust, CogDEM, Corgi and Co+ Savi Group.
Peter Hardy, IGEM’s Head of Technical Services, said: "The purpose of the conference is to identify and agree new actions to eliminate deaths from accidental CO poisoning, the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the UK and wider developed world. Our priority is to highlight and tackle the wide array of circumstances which lead to tragedies, for instance all fossil fuels appliances must be safely installed and maintained to avoid tragedies."
David Kidney Chair of the Carbon Monoxide All Fuels Forum said: “This CO conference is a landmark event on carbon monoxide poisoning for 2013. It will be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to gain an understanding of the serious threat posed by carbon monoxide poisoning. I’m delighted the All Fuels Forum is a part of this event and look forward to taking an active role. Carbon Monoxide can emanate from any fuel source and therefore needs to be considered by a wide range professionals, engineers and regulators. We look forward to engaging with all those who will attend the conference. We shall be looking for ideas and initiatives on this complex issue to help inform policy making and stamp out carbon monoxide poisoning wherever it occurs.”
Mark Oliver, Director of Business Services from WWU said: "At Wales & West Utilities we are always looking for new ways to engage with key stakeholders to raise awareness of the dangers of CO. We are delighted to be involved in this initiative; working closely with valued partners to encourage innovation in minimising CO related deaths and injuries across the UK."
It is estimated that CO poisoning still kills around 50 people each year with a further 1,100 recorded cases of admissions to hospital. The real figures are likely to be significantly higher, since awareness levels and detection rates remain relatively low.
Many people are unaware of the devastating effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide has no colour, smell or taste and cannot be detected by the human senses. It is extremely dangerous, binding itself to the haemoglobin in red blood cells and preventing them from transporting oxygen around the body.
According to statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, throughout England and Wales, there are an average of over 60 deaths every year due to accidental exposure to carbon monoxide - up to 45% of which occur in the home.
Figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show that there are around 4000 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning treated in A&E Departments across England each year - even mild cases can exacerbate existing conditions such as respiratory illnesses, leading to fatalities.
According to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, around 200 per year are hospitalised in England and Wales as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
A study of more than 27,000 properties by the Liverpool John Moores University, supported by the Merseyside and West Midlands Fire Services, found that less than 10% of homes have a single carbon monoxide alarm to protect occupants from this deadly gas.
Source: Liverpool John Moores University