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Two carpenters died of carbon monoxide poisoning secondary to running a gas powered engine in a confined space (basement of a home).

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92WI119, 1993 Jun; :1-3
Two carpenters were overcome by carbon monoxide when they entered a basement area where a gas powered engine was running. There was no electricity at the site yet and the gas engine was the source of power for the power tools they were using to put the first floor on the house foundation. No one witnessed the incident, it appears that the first worker may have gone into the basement via a ladder to check the generator and was overcome. The second worker may have gone into the basement to assist the downed worker and was also overcome. Both victims were found at the bottom of an opening in the basement wall, a 8-10 foot ladder was lying next to the victims. One of them had tried to punch out one of the basement windows to provide ventilation. The workers were deceased when they were found and ventilation was effected prior to victim removal by local fire department. The Wisconsin FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, the employer should: 1. Conduct a jobsite survey to evaluate equipment and work processes and remove or control safety hazards identified. 2. Develop and implement a written general safety program and train workers in recognizing and controlling hazards affecting themselves.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Construction; Ladders; Safety-programs; Training; Confined-spaces; Gases; Poison-gases
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-92WI119; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division