Oregon OSHA, 350 Winter Street NE Room 430, Salem, Oregon 97301-3878
For immediate release:
July 31, 2012
Melanie Mesaros, Public Information Officer
Oregon OSHA urges caution following three workplace carbon monoxide incidents
Overexposures send workers to the hospital
(Salem) –In recent weeks, employees at three different Portland-area worksites were exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide while operating gas-powered equipment. Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is urging employers to take precautions to avoid carbon monoxide exposure, which can cause nausea, dizziness, headache, or in extreme cases, death.
“It’s alarming to see this number of serious carbon monoxide incidents,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “While the risk always exists, employers should see this as a reminder to beware of the hazard in their workplace.”
Oregon OSHA is investigating the following three cases:
Prolonged or high exposure to carbon monoxide may worsen symptoms, which can also include vomiting, confusion, collapse, and muscle weakness. Symptoms can vary from person to person.
Heaters, generators, sprayers, pressure washers, drywall equipment, forklifts, and anything else with an internal combustion engine or that burns a petroleum fuel, gas, wood or coal are examples of equipment that can pose a risk, especially in an enclosed space.
More information about carbon monoxide can be found on Oregon OSHA’s website: http://www.orosha.org/subjects/carbon_monoxide.html.
Employers can also request a no-cost, confidential consultation by calling 1-800-922-2689 or by visiting http://www.orosha.org/consultation.html.
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to www.orosha.org.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.