West Dundee, IL- By Jeffrey Gaunt, Daily Herald Staff Writer
A construction site was evacuated Friday morning in West Dundee, and 10 workers were taken to hospitals after they were exposed to life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide, authorities said.
The workers, who were constructing the new Perlman jewelry store on Route 31, complained of nausea, headaches, dizziness and vomiting – all common signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – but no one was seriously injured, authorities said.
The workers were treated on the scene and then taken to Sherman Hospital and Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin as a precaution, West Dundee Assistant Fire Chief Frank Buhrmann said.
The dangerous levels of carbon monoxide – which reached as high as 11 times the amount considered life-threatening – were the result
of a gasoline-powered generator left on inside the building overnight to power construction equipment, Buhrmann said.
“Having a gas-powered generator inside a structure would be no different than having your car running inside your garage,” Buhrmann said. “The building, because of the construction, did not lend itself to ventilating well.”
West Dundee fire personnel responded to the scene after the project manager at the site drove across the street to the department to report the problem, Buhrmann said.
Personnel from five other departments – Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elgin, Huntley and Hoffman Estates – also responded.
After treating the workers, fire personnel set up portable fans o air out the building, and the construction crew was later cleared to continue work on the building, Buhrmann said.
Buhrmann said he doesn’t believe theconstruction crew will face any local fines, however, the matter is under investigation by officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration who were on hand Friday.
“I’m confident OSHA will be following up based on the preliminary investigation they did this morning,” Buhrmann said.