Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2001-0026, Lake Cumberland State dock, Jamestown dock, and Alligator II dock, Jamestown, Kentucky.
On October 13, 2000, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request from the Cabinet for Health Services in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to evaluate carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations associated with the operation of houseboats on Lake Cumberland. On October 23 - 25, 2000, NIOSH investigators conducted a site visit at Lake Cumberland to investigate CO concentrations on houseboats located at the State dock, Jamestown dock, and Alligator II dock. This letter describes our evaluation methods, findings, and conclusions. This investigation reaffirms issues of concern regarding the potential for CO exposure on houseboats. Individuals swimming or working in the area under the swim platform, or around the area directly behind the swim platform (with the gasoline generator in operation on houseboats that exhaust the combustion gases in the space below the back deck, or out the back of the deck) could be exposed to extremely high CO concentrations resulting in CO poisoning or death within a short period of time. The area on the back deck of houseboats is also a concern. When the generator or motors are in operation, the area around the back deck of houseboats can be hazardous under certain conditions (i.e., lack of air movement). This evaluation was performed in October which is not in the prime operating season for houseboats. Activities at the dock were slow, due to the low number of houseboat rentals. Therefore, personal sampling was not conducted. However, general recommendations are provided to help control potential worker CO exposures. In addition, recommendations are provided to reduce the potential for CO exposure around and under the swim platform on houseboats.