Janitor using propane buffer killed by carbon monoxide.
NIOSH 2006 Feb; :1-5
On November 13, 2004, a 50-year-old male janitor was found dead at a job site where he was cleaning floors with a propane buffer. The janitor had completed all but one room of the 1,500-2,000 sq. ft office building. He was found collapsed and unresponsive about 6 ft from the buffer, which was still running in the idle position. No external doors or windows had been opened to allow ventilation. The janitor was a temporary worker, hired through an agency, and had worked with his current employer for 2½ weeks. The medical examiner discovered a 62% carbon-monoxide saturation level in the victim's blood. Cause of Death: Asphyxiation by inhalation of carbon monoxide and propane exhaust. Recommendations: 1. Propane-powered equipment used indoors should be replaced with electric-powered equipment; 2. Propane-powered equipment should only be used indoors when adequate ventilation and carbon-monoxide detectors and alarms are available; 3. Equipment should be properly maintained in safe working condition; 4. Employers should ensure a safe work environment for their employees, including temporary employees.
Region-10; 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; Exhaust-gases; Poison-gases; Maintenance-workers; Ventilation
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
FACE-04OR037; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-021204; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008324
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Oregon Department of Human Services