Land clearing and forest product company owner overcome by carbon monoxide in hopper of wood chip burning boiler—Massachusetts
Massachusetts Case Report: 18MA022
Release Date: August 13, 2021
On March 25, 2018, a 54-year-old land clearing and forest product company owner was overcome by carbon monoxide (CO) as he was checking on a wood chip powered boiler system.
Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include:
- Failure to install and maintain adequate ventilation for a wood burning boiler system;
- Lack of carbon monoxide monitoring equipment in the area of fuel burning equipment; and
- Unidentified confined space.
The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:
- Follow manufacturers’ guidance regarding installation and maintenance of wood burning boilers and exhaust systems to ensure that carbon monoxide is removed from buildings;
- Identify confined spaces in work areas and develop, train on, and enforce written work procedures for confined space entry;
- Implement a comprehensive safety and health program that addresses hazard evaluation and avoidance of unsafe conditions, including workplace surveys to identify all potential sources of carbon monoxide, and locations where carbon monoxide may accumulate.