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Maritime Employers Must Prevent Offshore Carbon Monoxide Exposure

OSHA warns that maritime employees who work in engine rooms, boiler rooms, and around docks are at increased risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.

In this article, the Jones Act injury lawyers at The Young Firm focus on the steps maritime employers should take to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning at sea.

A maritime employer should:

  • Install an effective ventilation system to prevent CO from building up in work areas.
  • Maintain engines, equipment and appliances in good working order.
  • When possible, use equipment that is powered by electricity, batteries or compressed air rather than oil or gasoline.
  • Do not allow the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in areas with poor ventilation.
  • Perform regular testing for CO in confined spaces and other areas where CO may be present. Install CO detector with audible alarms and make sure that batteries are changed on a regular basis.
  • If there is a potential of CO exposure, provide each employee with a personal CO monitor with an audible alarm. Workers should test for CO before entering any area where there is a risk of exposure.
  • If an employee must enter an area with a low, but still dangerous CO concentration for a sort period of time, provide respirators with appropriate canisters.
  • If an employee must enter an area with a high CO concentration, provide proper equipment. This includes a NIOSH-certified (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) full-face piece pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or a combination full-face piece pressure demand supplied-air respirator with auxiliary self-contained air supply.
  •  Educate workers about the risk of CO injury.

If you have sustained a carbon monoxide injury while working offshore and you do not believe that your employer took the necessary precautions to prevent your injury, you may have a Jones Act claim. To learn more, contact The Young Firm at 504-680-4100 and ask to schedule a free consultation with a Jones Act injury lawyer.

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