The theme of the week is dangerous jobs, the brave people who work them, and the terrible accidents that occur when safety guidelines aren't met. Today's story is about a group of employees who all got carbon monoxide poison because someone wasn't paying attention.
The workers that got injured were part of a construction crew that was renovating an old office building. They'd been tasked with removing the ceramic floor tiles so they could replace them with something else, and were using a propane-powered tool. The workers knew that this would emit a lot of carbon monoxide, so they set up fans to help them blow that out of the building.
The fans were set up properly and got the carbon monoxide away from the area, but the building's ventilation system had been shut off. This meant that eventually the entire building filled with poisonous gas. The effects took a while to kick in, but after four hours the workers started getting bad headaches and feeling sick. Suspecting that something was wrong, the foreman had them all go outside.
Even outside the workers still felt sick, so the foreman had them go to the hospital, where they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. It wasn't until much later that they realized why this had happened, but thanks to the foreman figuring out that something was wrong, everyone's lives were saved that day.
Even with the ventilation system being off, the carbon monoxide shouldn't have filled the building that quickly. Tests were run on the machine and it was determined that 10% of its emissions were carbon monoxide because of a faulty choke cable. Once fixed, those emissions dropped down to .1%.
The combination of a broken machine and a turned-off ventilation system means that it's unclear whether this was the fault of the people who owned the building or the company who was hired to do the renovations. It was brought to the courts, where they decided that even though the machine wasn't emitting the right amount of gas, the ventilation system should've been on and would've prevented any of this from happening.
At the end of the day, everyone was saved and justice was done, but those employees still had to be admitted to the hospital and went through a horrible experience. If this ever happens to you or someone you care about, we're here to make it right. You can submit a quick application right now, give us a call at (866) 587-4320, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help you, so let us know about your situation.