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DRIVERS working on rural routes near Ottawa are carrying carbon monoxide detectors because of concerns about the safety of their trucks.

Workers are concerned that the old Grumman LLV trucks – the newest of which is 23 years old – are poorly maintained and spewing exhaust fumes into the cabs.

Canada Post driver Julie Stewart said she parked her van and walked into a local hospital believing she was having a heart attack. The doctors said her heart was fine but asked if she had been exposed to carbon monoxide.

Another driver, Carla Lavigne, recorded a carbon monoxide reading of 49 parts per million in the cab of her truck. The legal maximum for workplace exposure set by Ontario’s Ministry of

Labour is 25 parts per million over a 40-hour week.

Carla refused to drive the truck after taking the reading, insisting her bosses repair the vehicle.

Canada Post courier, Diana Bayer, said:

If we see [high] numbers [on the detectors] we’re just getting out. We’re not going to drive it. Carbon monoxide is sneaky. It’s [called] a silent killer for a reason.

Canada Post denies there is a problem saying the trucks are regularly maintained and tested, including exhaust systems.

The Grumman LLV ceased production in 1994 and the ageing trucks are gradually being replaced.

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PHC Magazine

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