What are the Risks of Carbon Monoxide in Construction Jobs?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called a “silent killer”. CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that cannot be detected. CO is a threat if you are exposed to high concentrations, but can also be a threat if exposure occurs regularly for an extended period of time.

Construction workers are at a particularly high risk of exposure to CO. Exposure to CO occurs on construction sites through:

  • Exhaust from gas-powered tools or equipment
  • Exhaust from generators
  • Fuel-burning heaters
  • Vehicle exhaust

When construction sites are not properly ventilated, CO can quickly build up to toxic levels. Workers who do not have proper safety gear are at risk of CO poisoning. The results can be dire.

The Risks of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

When ingested, CO attacks red blood cells. This interferes with the body’s ability to process and distribute oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Blurred Vision
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Unconsciousness

Without proper treatment, CO poisoning can cause damage to the brain or heart, and can be fatal. It is important that all construction sites are properly ventilated, and workers are outfitted with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Sites with limited ventilation should be monitored and tested to ensure that CO levels are not outside of acceptable limits.

If you are a construction worker and have been injured due to CO poisoning, contact the Henderson Work Injury Law Corporation to discuss your situation. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury claim.