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Carbon monoxide exposure can cause serious workplace illness

New York workers in industrial facilities typically have to face multiple safety hazards in the line of duty. Compliance with safety regulations is one way of preventing an on-the-job injury or a workplace illness. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently reported that noncompliance with rules related to carbon monoxide exposure could lead to fatalities.

Authorities say gasoline-powered equipment and tools must never be operated indoors, not even in semi-enclosed spaces. Also, open windows and doors will not provide enough ventilation to prevent workers suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. When such equipment is operated outside, it is important to keep it away from air intakes by which CO can be carried into buildings.

Employees must receive proper training to teach them to identify any signs of CO exposure because the gas is colorless and odorless. Carbon monoxide exposure causes a headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbance and loss of consciousness. An exposed worker can be overwhelmed within minutes, so if any symptoms are noticed, action must not be delayed.

Any New York employee who is exposed to carbon monoxide or suffers any other workplace illness can seek financial assistance with medical expenses and lost income. He or she can file a workers' compensation benefits claim with the company's insurance provider. Many employees choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to guide them through the claims process because proving that an illness is work-related could be quite a challenge.

Source: safetyandhealthmagazine.com, "Don't be overcome by carbon monoxide", Sept. 16, 2017

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