Carbon Monoxide toxicity
Carbon Monoxide is highly toxic to humans and according to Medscape causes impaired oxygen delivery and utilization at a cellular level – this translates to breathlessness, neurological problems, chest paints, seizures and loss of consciousness. Taken from a ScienceDirect article, CO poisoning accounts to over 50% of fatal poisonings worldwide. Carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal, and in 10-15% of cases of severe exposure and survival there have been permanent damage.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning symptoms
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms as taken from NHS choices include: –
- Tiredness and confusion
- Stomach Pain
- Shortness of breath
Severe exposure symptoms
- Chest Pain
- Loss of consciousness
How do you get carbon monoxide poisoning
There are a few ways to get carbon monoxide poisoning, unfortunately. As it has become more and more common to use inside homes and industry CO is never too far away.
Many household appliances can release carbon monoxide – appliances to look out for are ones that use gas, oil or wood as fuel as well as boilers, central heating, cookers and fires. Many, if not all, appliances should be regularly safety checked by an approved engineer; this is usually done annually. A faulty appliance has a risk of releasing carbon monoxide into the air leading to poisoning for those exposed.
Rooms with poor ventilation are at most risk.
Motor vehicles release CO into the air from exhausts, especially older vehicles. Whilst in transit the risk is relatively low as it gets released into the air however in traffic jams the risk is increased. The risk can also be further increased if there are holes inside the exhaust system.
At the workplace
CO can be released from industrial machinery on top of the risks a normal household has including cookers and heating systems.
Who is liable for carbon monoxide poisoning
The liability for the poisoning and who the claim will ultimately be against depends on who or what organisation is liable for the release of CO in the first place. If you own your home you are tasked with making sure that all your appliances are regularly safety checked, if the CO leak happened as a result of the safety check then the engineer could be liable, or even the manufacturer if it has not been installed properly.
If you live in rented accommodation then it is the landlords responsibility to make sure all appliances are regularly checked and even install CO detectors if necessary.
If the poisoning happened at work then your employer is liable as they are responsible for your health and well being while you are at work.
Lastly, as with appliances a motor vehicle needs to be regularly checked via MOT or a service and its exhaust and ventilation system should be fit for purpose. Of course, getting the vehicles to be checked is your responsibility but if it has been regularly checked and has caused CO poisoning then you could claim compensation against the manufacturer or the people who have undertaken work on the vehicle.
Making a carbon monoxide poisoning claim
Suffering from CO may lead to time off work, time away from family as you recover and hospital trips. Scott Rees & Co can help recover your financial losses.
To make a claim the first step is to get in touch with us and speak with one our advisors who can explain the next steps and what we can for you.
To make a claim with us Scott Rees & Co is very simple – the quickest and easiest way is to call for free on both mobile and landline. Alternatively, you can fill out the claim form on the right hand side and we will get back to you.
Carbon Monoxide Claim Case Studies
2012 – Faulty extractor fan leads to Carbon Monoxide poisoning – £1,700
Our client was working as a cashier for a well known restaurant on a day when the extractor fan was known to be non operational.
Unfortunately, the duty manager at the time was not given permission to close for the day to allow repairs which lead the cooking steam and smoke from the various machinery to fill the restaurant.
Symptoms for our client, her colleagues and patrons were stomach cramps, watery eyes, bad taste in the mouth and coughing as the day went on and the client was exposed to more and more carbon monoxide she began coughing up blood.
Our client had to take a week off work to recuperate after a visit to her GP. It was at this time that she gave Scott Rees & Co a call to discuss what had happened and how we could help.
We immediately took the case on as we could see there was gross misconduct by the management staff and that her time off work needed to be compensated for. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious illness and we had to help raise awareness.
We successfully helped our client claim against her employer and won £1,700 compensation to cover her financial losses as well as damages for the injuries sustained.
2010 – Working near construction machinery in a non ventilated room – £2,050
Our client was working as a contractor with his team on a construction site that needed new concrete flooring, the room where the work had been done had windows that were screwed down along with skylights. The only ventilation was an open door.
Power floats were used to concrete the floor which generated dangerous fumes while they were working, this unfortunately started to build up due to the number of power floats and the lack of ventilation.
The contractors looked for gas masks on site but none were provided.
After a time the employees began to feel dizzy, sick and some were passing out and the situation was getting quite dangerous. However, the workers continued to work until practically all of them were sick.
Our client was taken to hospital after passing out and the staff saw that there was 20% carbon monoxide in his system and that he had been poisoned.
The client also suffered from neurological problems and some of his fingers were twitching uncontrollably.
The client had to take time off work; because he is self employed this meant big financial losses to himself. This alongside feeling immensely sick for days prompted him to give Scott Rees & Co a call.
We immediately took the case on as it was clear those machine should not have been used without the proper equipment (masks) and good ventilation.
We successfully helped the client win £2,050 compensation which helped with the financial losses suffered and the injuries sustained.