Are You in Danger from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
In June 2010, two cleaning service employees were buffing floors during the night at a mental health outpatient facility with machines that used propane gas. An employee of the outpatient facility discovered both men dead the next morning. Investigators believe that a combination of carbon monoxide poisoning and inadequate ventilation caused the workplace deaths.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is impossible for people to detect. Exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can cause shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness or headaches. High levels of carbon monoxide can lead to serious brain damage, heart damage, and death.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
• Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
• Shortness of breath on exertion
• Impaired judgment
• Chest pain
• Abdominal pain
• Visual changes
• Memory and walking problems
• Permanent brain injury
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental death by poisoning in the United States. Carbon monoxide poisoning often occurs at work. Victims may suffer serious brain injury or less serious, but still devastating, neuro-cognitive injuries including memory loss or confusion.
Sources of carbon monoxide:
• Gas water heaters
• Gas ovens
• Kerosene space heaters
• Charcoal grills
• Propane heaters and stoves
• Gasoline and diesel powered generators
• Cigarette smoke
• Propane-fueled forklifts
• Propane-fueled tools and equipment
• Gasoline powered concrete saws
• Indoor tractor pulls
• Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers
• Vehicle exhaust, idling vehicles
If you believe you or a co-worker has been exposed to carbon monoxide, get to a well-ventilated area as soon as possible and call 911.
On-the-job carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by installing carbon monoxide detectors and by keeping work areas properly ventilated.
If you believe you are a victim of on-the-job carbon monoxide poisoning, contact Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free appointment to discuss your rights and potential injury claim with an experienced Kansas City workplace injury attorney.
For more information about work-related injury claims, request our free guide: “How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story”.