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Security guard died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Michigan State University
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 06MI204, 2007 Nov; :1-4
On November 5, 2006, a 70-year-old male providing security services for a church died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. The decedent entered the church with the head deacon and proceeded up the stairs to the second floor where two generators were located. The generators were placed in the second story room because a generator had been stolen when they were located outside the building. The room's window was closed. When the decedent and the head deacon entered the room with the generators, the decedent indicated he was having trouble breathing. The head deacon told the decedent to go downstairs and get into fresh air. The decedent collapsed in a nearby upstairs room. When the head deacon went downstairs, he could not find the decedent. Two female church members were working in the church area. The head deacon asked them if they had seen the decedent and they replied they had not seen him. All three individuals went upstairs and found the decedent on the floor in the room. One of the female church members stayed with the decedent and provided CPR. The other church member and the head deacon went downstairs and the female church member called 911. When the ambulance arrived, they could smell the exhaust from the generator and decided not to enter the church. The ambulance called for fire department assistance. When the fire department arrived, they entered the church and proceeded to the second floor room where the decedent and the now unconscious female church member were located. The fire department brought the decedent and this church member outside and they began resuscitative efforts. Fire department personnel transported the decedent and the unconscious church member to a local hospital. The decedent was declared dead at the hospital. The church member was hospitalized and recovered. Recommendations: 1. Generators or similar fuel-burning equipment, such as propane radiant heaters, should not be operated indoors or in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. 2. Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors/alarms that meet the requirements of the current Underwriters' Laboratory (UL) standard 2034 or the requirements of the International Approval Services (IAS) 6-96 standard should be installed on each building level in areas when fuel-burning devices are present. 3. Portable generator manufacturers should label their products and should supply stores carrying their equipment with the Danger label required by the 2007 Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Warning-devices; Warning-signals; Warning-signs; Gas-detectors; Gas-indicators; Gases; Breathing
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Services
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division