Often called "the silent killer," Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas that is produced when burning any fuel, such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil, wood, and charcoal. Carbon monoxide exposure causes poisoning and illness by decreasing the amount of oxygen present in a person's body.
Ten people have been hospitalized in the last three days due to carbon monoxide levels in the Marion County. On Sunday, February 9th, 2014 an industrial accident at a Marcellus Shale pump station owned by Momentum M3 Appalachia Gas Gathering, LLC, on Toothman Run Road in the Grant Town area off Paw Paw Road near Rivesville, WV sent 7 people to the hospital.
According to Fairview Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Steve Gillespie, workplace safety negligence was the cause. Workers were operating gasoline motor in a tent without proper ventilation. "There was a big tent with no ventilation and no fans," Gillespie said. The tent contained two gas welders, two generators, and a couple of large and small turbo heaters. "That raised the CO levels," he said. "The heaters have been running a week to bring the temperature up inside the tent to above 80 degrees."
These workers would be well-advised to seek legal counsel in addition to filing Worker's Compensation claims. If their injuries were of a serious nature, they may be eligible for additional compensation beyond the Worker's Compensation since there is a good chance of proving deliberate intent -- that their employer negligently placed them in a situation where they experienced physical harm.
Carbon Monoxide Exposure in a Marion County Home
An additional sad CO poisoning situation occured on Tuesday, February 11, which caused three family members to be transported to area hospitals following a carbon monoxide leak in a Marion County home on Darby Street at approximately 3:45 a.m. Emergency dispatchers were initially called to the home for a report of chest pain.
CO poisoning can often be mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu. The most common symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. In severe cases, the person may lose consciousness or die. Often, other people in the place of business or household will exhibit similar symptoms.
Upon arrival, responders realized two more people were showing symptoms of high carbon monoxide levels, and emergency crews did in fact find carbon monoxide levels to be extremely high in the home. Two of the people in the home were transported to UPMC in Pittsburgh, and one other person was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital.
Protecting Your Family from Toxic Exposure from Carbon Monoxide
To decrease the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, install CO detectors outside every bedroom. Install the detectors at least 15 feet from a source of CO to eliminate nuisance alarms. Hardwire detectors if possible, and check every six months.
Do not heat your home or camper with your stove top or use a camp stove, grill, or generator inside your home or camper. Do not leave a car or motorcycle running in your garage even if the garage door is open. Have your fireplace, stove, and furnace checked regularly by a professional.
Sometimes carbon monoxide poisoning is caused in part by the negligence of a landlord, repair technician, or faulty piece of equipment. Landlords and professional service technicians are held to the highest standards of accountability for the safety of those they serve.
If CO poisoning is detected in your home or business, vacate the area immediately and seek emergency help. Avoid re-entry until the fire department deems it safe.
Questions? Call Today: 304-594-1800 or 304-216-6695
Source: WBOY News, "Carbon Monoxide Leak Sends 3 in Marion County To Hospitals." February 11, 2014.