When using strong cleaning chemicals or machines powered by gas or propane, it is important to take safety precautions to prevent injury. The fumes from the equipment and supplies can cause serious injury to those who are using them, and it is important to properly ventilate the area. While most Target retail stores are large open buildings with high ceilings and a lot of space, it is still important to make sure that the area is properly ventilated for workers cleaning the store.
Four Ohio Target employees were injured yesterday morning, December 2, 2010, before the store had opened. The workplace injury occurred when one of the employees was buffing the floor with a propane powered floor buffer. He had been using the machine for a number of hours when the fumes caused him to pass out at around 7:39 a.m.
The paramedics took the unconscious employee and three others who had headaches and were having trouble breathing to Mercy Hospital Fairfield. Firefighters were brought in to investigate, and they found extremely high levels of carbon monoxide near the front of the store.
The remaining employees were evacuated from the Fairfield Township Target and were housed in the front of a vacant store in the shopping center to protect them from the cold weather. Several firefighter crews were required to ventilate the building and remove the dangerous fumes. The store delayed opening its doors until 10:30 a.m. after firefighters confirmed that the carbon monoxide level had returned to zero, making it safe for customers and employees to enter the building.
Source: KY Post “Target employees overcome by fumes” Jeannine Gallenstein 12/2/10