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Work Injury Caused by Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer


Not all employers follow these safety regulations resulting in workers being poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Did you know that carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States? And, it’s not just because people don’t realize that carbon monoxide is poisonous. It’s also because you can’t see, smell, or taste it, hence the term “silent killer.” In this article, we will discuss the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to protect yourself from this deadly gas.

Carbon Monoxide in the Workplace

Carbon monoxide is produced when any fuel such as gasoline, wood, propane, natural gas, or charcoal burns, unlike many other gases. That means that anywhere there’s a potential for combustion-such as in a workplace with welding torches or open flame, there’s also the potential for carbon monoxide exposure.

When inhaled, carbon monoxide prevents your blood from carrying oxygen to your organs and tissues. And depending on the level of exposure, it can cause serious health effects, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

If inhaled in high enough concentrations, carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. In fact, according to the CDC, carbon monoxide exposure contributes to the deaths of at least 430 people in the United States each year.

How to Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the Workplace

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a severe threat, but it’s one that you can protect yourself from. By being aware of the dangers and taking steps to prevent exposure, you can help keep yourself safe at work.

The first step is to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning listed above. If you start to feel any of these symptoms while working, get fresh air immediately and tell your supervisor.

You should also know the location of any carbon monoxide alarms in your workplace and make sure they are properly maintained. These alarms can be a lifesaver, but only if they work correctly.

Finally, if you work in an environment with the potential for carbon monoxide exposure, make sure you’re wearing the proper personal protective equipment. This might include a respirator or other breathing protection.

Compensation for Work-Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to take steps to protect workers from exposure to carbon monoxide. These include monitoring the carbon monoxide level in the air and providing ventilation to keep levels below OSHA’s permissible exposure limit. However, not all employers follow these safety regulations resulting in workers being poisoned by carbon monoxide.

If you are exposed to carbon monoxide at work and suffer health effects, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help cover the cost of medical treatment, missed wages, and more.

St. Louis Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Work-related injuries, especially those caused by exposure to carbon monoxide, can be costly. But, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of these injuries on your own. If you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide at work, contact experienced workers’ comp attorneys at The Law Office of James. M. Hoffmann. With over 30 years of experience, we know what it takes to win and can help you understand your rights and options for seeking benefits.

Updated: February 6, 2024
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