Nine workers were treated after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning at a residential construction site in Manhattan. According to a WABC news report, the incident occurred the afternoon of Feb. 5 at East 29th Street and Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District. The FDNY received a call about a worker feeling dizzy, and crews who responded then found multiple workers at that site feeling symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. Authorities say there were carbon monoxide readings of 750 parts per million at the underground site. 10 parts per million is considered dangerous.
Workers Exposed to Lethal Gas
Workers were pouring foundation in an area about 60 square feet when they were exposed to the lethal gas. The FDNY was evaluating several victims and two people who suffered more serious injuries were seen on stretchers. Emergency personnel were able to begin IV treatment and cardiac monitoring. Officials stated that all of the workers here have been hospitalized and are in stable condition.
Investigators were looking at an underground gas-powered generator as a possible source for the carbon monoxide. The New York City Department of Buildings has issued a full stop-work order for the site and a violation was issued to the general contractor for failure to safeguard the construction site.
Understanding the Effects of Carbon Monoxide
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breathing in carbon monoxide can cause headache, dizziness, vomiting and nausea. If carbon monoxide levels are high enough, you may become unconscious or even die. Exposure to moderate and high levels of carbon monoxide over long periods of time has also been linked with increased risk of heart disease. People who survive severe carbon monoxide poisoning many suffer long-term health problems.
Those in charge of construction sites must ensure the safety of the workers and that they are not at risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Here are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of carbon monoxide exposure at a worksite or workplace:
• Install an effective ventilation system that will remove the gas from work areas.
• Maintain equipment and appliances such as water heaters and boilers that can produce carbon monoxide in good working order.
• Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity, batteries or compressed air, if it can be used safely.
• Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
• Provide workers with carbon monoxide (CO) monitors with audible alarms if there is a risk of exposure to the gas.
• Test air regularly in areas where CO may be present including in confined spaces.
• Provide workers with a full-face pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
• Educate workers about the sources and conditions that may result in CO poisoning as well as the symptoms and how to control CO exposure.
• If workers are operating in confined spaces where the presence of CO is suspected, tests must be conducted for oxygen sufficiency before entering.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Workers who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families that have lost loved ones in a construction accident may be able to seek death benefits. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and therefore have two sources of compensation.
Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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