OSHA Fines NJ Landscaper $17K After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Deaths

Posted on 8/23/2019 by Lauren Scott

A landscaping company based in Cresskill, NJ has been fined $17,051 for allegedly exposing its employees to the hazards of carbon monoxide (CO) without the proper safety training, resulting in the deaths of two of its workers.

In a statement released August 9, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said two workers were keeping warm inside a company trailer on December 11, 2018 in Washington Township, NJ. When one of the workers started a gasoline-powered lawnmower, the exhaust fumes created hazardous levels of CO gas.

The two workers were found unconscious and not breathing when emergency personnel arrived just after 8 a.m. One of the employees died later that day at The Valley Hospital nearby, while the other was pronounced dead in early January 2019.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is the byproduct of combustible engines, furnaces, or gas ranges.

CO exposure can cause flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, chest pain, and confusion. At higher levels, especially in small, enclosed spaces, the gas can cause death.

While landscaping is not known as an industry for working in confined spaces, OSHA notes that the company should have trained its employees to recognize the dangers of CO exposure prior to the incident.

The company has until August 29 to dispute OSHA’s citation and penalty.

Ready Your Team with Online Confined Space Training

Lion offers Confined Spaces Entry Awareness online training for employees who work around hazardous confined spaces and need to know the risks associated with unauthorized entry in these spaces. Training is completed online, at your own pace. With the ability to start, pause, and complete the course from any computer or mobile device, this OSHA training course gives you the flexibility to train how you want and when you need to.

Tags: carbon monoxide, confined space, fines, landscaping, osha, penalties, safety, violations, workplace safety

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