Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of running gas powered engines such as high pressure washers, saws, floor buffers, welders, pumps, compressors, generators. Even larger commercial equipment such as forklifts can also emit carbon monoxide. Many people simply are not aware of this byproduct, since it is odorless, colorless, and causes no immediately discernable side effects. However, carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly and can also cause long lasting damage, including brain damage.
Small gas powered engines are commonly used indoors and in poorly ventilated places, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. However, cases of poisoning have been reported in areas where windows/doors were left open. This shows just how dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning is. Often, once carbon monoxide builds up in small areas, there is little time before a person succumbs to their symptoms. Parties responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning vary from situation to situation. In many situations, commercial landlords, manufacturers/sellers and even tool rental companies may bear legal responsibility for carbon monoxide poisoning.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, employers can do the following:
operate gas powered engines outdoors, or if this is not possible, leave the engine/machine outdoors while the work is conducted indoors;
educate employees about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, visual disturbance, loss of consciousness;
substitute electric tools whenever possible;
use and install carbon monoxide alarms/monitors in areas where gas powered engines are used.
Tool companies and tool rental companies can do the following to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:
put warning labels on gas powered tools;
inform/warn buyers/renters of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning indoors and in poorly ventilated places;
recommend electric tools whenever possible;
sell/rent portable carbon monoxide alarms;
provide buyers/renters with educational materials about carbon monoxide poisoning and symptoms.
Tool manufacturers can also do the following:
design tools that can be used indoors;
provide adequate warning labels for gas powered equipment;
provide recommendations for maintenance that reduces carbon monoxide emissions;
recommend use of portable carbon monoxide alarms/monitors.
If you've been the victim of carbon monoxide poisioning, it is vital that you speak to a qualified, experienced New Jersey/Pennsylvania carbon monoxide poisoning and personal injury lawyer. We serve accident victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and always offer a free consultation. 1-877-944-8396