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Four hotel maintenance workers exposed to excessive levels of carbon monoxide in boiler room - Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
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 03MA2NF, 2006 Nov; :1-6
On September 17, 2003, four hotel maintenance department employees were exposed to excessive levels of carbon monoxide (CO). During an early afternoon check of a hotel boiler room by two maintenance department employees, it was discovered that the temperature inside the boiler room was elevated and that a power venter belt, which had been replaced earlier that same day, was slipping. During the repair of the power venter, one of the two maintenance department employees started to feel ill. The ill employee's condition was reported to management and a call was placed for emergency medical services (EMS). Two other maintenance department employees went to check on the ill employee and all four employees stayed inside the boiler room until EMS arrived. The two employees who were originally performing the repair were immediately transported to a local hospital and then were moved to a larger hospital where they received treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The other two employees, who went to check on the employees performing the repair, drove themselves to a local hospital approximately one hour after the arrival of EMS. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Provide employees training in hazard recognition including, but not limited to, carbon monoxide and its associated health effects; 2. Conduct workplace surveys to identify all potential sources of carbon monoxide and locations where carbon monoxide poisonings could occur; and 3. Ensure that at a minimum carbon monoxide detectors are installed and operating properly within areas where fuel burning appliances are located, such as boiler rooms. Employers of 911 call takers and dispatchers should: 4. Encourage the collection of all available information, such as exact location of incident, when answering an emergency call to help identify the exact nature of the emergency. Employers of emergency first responders should: 5. Ensure that when responders are dispatched to locations where the potential exists for toxic atmospheres, such as boiler rooms, that the atmosphere is tested by trained personnel prior to entering. In addition, manufacturers of power venting equipment should: 6. Consider providing warning labels about the carbon monoxide hazard that could develop if power venters are not operating properly.
Region-1; 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; Training; Warning-signs; Work-environment; Work-areas; Work-practices; Warning-devices; Medical-rescue-services; Emergency-responders; Air-contamination; Air-monitoring; Air-quality; Air-quality-monitoring
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-03MA2NF; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division