A Boat Maintenance Crew Supervisor Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning While Using a Gasoline-Powered Pressure Washer, Washington
Washington Case Report: 18WA052044
Release Date: August 2, 2018
The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
On May 17, 2012, a 25-year-old boat maintenance crew supervisor died from carbon monoxide poisoning while using a gasoline-powered pressure washer to strip paint from a boat.
On the day of the incident, he was supervising a crew using a pressure washer and disc grinders to remove old paint from the exterior of a 162-foot steel hulled fishing boat moored at a dock. The six crew members were working on the boat in different areas that were covered with plastic tarps in order to prevent paint chips and dust from entering the water.
At the start of the day, the gasoline-powered pressure washer was positioned on the dock. Later, employees of another contractor moved the pressure washer onto the boat to clear the way for supply deliveries. Shortly before the end of the work day, the victim moved the pressure washer onto a side deck passageway that was fully enclosed by plastic tarps. Working alone, he used the pressure washer for about 20 minutes. A co-worker went to look for the victim and found him unconscious on top of the pressure washer. Emergency responders arrived and determined that the victim was deceased. The medical examiner reported the cause
of death as “carbon monoxide intoxication due to inhalation of engine exhaust.”