In February, nine workers were rescued from a construction site in Manhattan where a carbon monoxide leak occurred. Two of them were in serious condition and had to be carried out on stretchers. The remaining workers only suffered minor injuries. All nine workers received medical treatment and no life-threatening injuries were reported.
Fire officials were initially alerted about a worker who was feeling dizzy but when the FDNY crew arrived, multiple workers were found to be dizzy and nauseous.
The leak was believed to be caused by a gas-powered generator in the basement of the 60-square-foot work site where they were getting ready to pour concrete. Officials discovered carbon monoxide readings of 750 parts per million.
A full stop-work order was issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB). Additionally, the site's contractor and management team received several safety violations.
Just weeks before the project began, the work site passed safety inspections conducted by the DOB.
Identifying carbon monoxide poisoning
According to Mayo Clinic, carbon monoxide is impossible to detect by sight, smell, or taste. Once inhaled, it can take over the red blood cells and enters your bloodstream. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
Once carbon monoxide builds up to dangerous levels, it can result in permanent brain damage, heart damage, and even death.
Who is the most at risk?
Carbon monoxide poisoning isn't only an occupational hazard for construction workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), anyone who works in boiler rooms, warehouses, petroleum refineries, paper production facilities, steel production facilities, ovens, or blast furnaces is at risk.
This hazard also impacts welders, firefighters, garage mechanics, longshore workers, diesel engine operators, police officers, and toll booth and tunnel attendants.
Filing a workers' compensation claim
Some permanent injuries caused by carbon monoxide exposure can render you unable to work indefinitely. If you suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
The legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys at Law has a proven track record of helping injured workers navigate the claims process and getting the compensation they deserve.