Firm Cited After Workers Endangered by Carbon Monoxide Gas: OSHA

OSHA has cited JRI Holdings Inc. for multiple violations.

Eighteen workers were hospitalized after exposure to deadly carbon monoxide gas levels of up to 6.71 times the permissible limit, according to an OSHA report.

An OSHA investigation determined that JRI Holdings Inc. employees were testing a commercial industrial parts washer powered by two natural gas heaters in November 2014. Employees were working inside a building with its doors closed because of cold temperatures, which limited ventilation.

OSHA has cited the company for one willful and three serious safety violations for failing to provide respiratory protection, monitoring, and to ventilate the work site adequately.

"Carbon monoxide is a silent killer because it's odorless, tasteless, and invisible," said Barbara Theriot, OSHA's area director in Kansas City, Mo. "Overexposure can cause headaches, vomiting, and death. Companies using heaters and other products that produce this deadly gas must make sure spaces are well ventilated and that workers use protective equipment and monitor for exposure."

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