Carbon Monoxide Dangers in the WorkplaceAugust 22, 2019
Because carbon monoxide has no smell, taste or color, it is a particularly dangerous and fatal gas. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), carbon monoxide exposure often results in industries where materials containing carbon are burned. Such materials include gasoline, natural gas, wood, kerosene, propane, oil, and coal.
When a person inhales carbon monoxide, the gas quickly displaces the oxygen in the bloodstream. This causes the heart, lungs, brain, and other organs to start shutting down, leading to death. Carbon monoxide exposure is a medical emergency requiring swift treatment. With prompt treatment, some of the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are reversible, but long-term impairment may occur. Such impairment affects may also cause reproductive problems.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often subtle, which is why it is so dangerous. Suspect carbon monoxide involvement if workers experience the following symptoms:
When workers are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, they may become disoriented and collapse. People with pre-existing lung and heart disease may react to lower levels of carbon monoxide than healthier individuals. Older people, children, and smokers are especially vulnerable. No matter who you are, keep in mind that carbon monoxide exposure can prove fatal, and often very quickly.
While anyone may face carbon monoxide dangers at work, certain workers are at a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to the nature of their jobs. Employees most at-risk include:
- Blast furnace workers
- Customs inspectors
- Diesel engine operators
- Forklift operators
- Garage mechanics
- Marine terminal workers
- Police officers
- Pulp and paper workers
- Taxi drivers
- Toll collectors
There are various ways in which employers can reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in their workforce. It starts with a solid education program, so that employees learn about carbon monoxide and its dangers and symptoms. Other ways to reduce risk include:
- Ensuring any carbon monoxide-producing equipment is always well-maintained.
- Providing ventilation system installation to keep the gas away from workers.
- Using gas-powered equipment in areas with excellent ventilation.
- Equipping workers at-risk for exposure with carbon monoxide detection warning devices.
- Testing air levels regularly in areas where carbon monoxide exposure is most likely.
- Making the switch from fuel-powered equipment to battery-operated or electric equipment.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Carbon Monoxide Victims
If you were exposed to carbon monoxide in the workplace, you are urged to contact the highly skilled Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will walk you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the full financial benefits that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.