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Carpenter dies from carbon monoxide poisoning while using a gasoline powered generator Inside a construction-site storage container - 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 06MA059, 2008 Jun; :1-7
On December 26, 2006, a 43-year-old finish carpenter (the victim) died from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, while he was working inside a metal storage container where a gasoline powered generator was operating. The victim was putting equipment away and completing tasks at the end of the day, after having installed a newel post in a residential home in a new housing complex. The generator was running, providing energy for a light. When the victim did not return home after work and did not answer his cell phone, his wife and her two brothers went to the storage container and found the victim. He had been overcome by CO and had collapsed inside the storage container. A call was placed for emergency medical services (EMS). One of the victim's wife's brothers turned off the generator and pulled the victim out of the storage container. They administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Once EMS arrived the victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Always leave fuel-burning generators outside of buildings and storage containers when operating; and 2. Ensure carbon monoxide detectors are used when fuel-burning generators are running and employees are located at indoor and/or partially enclosed work sites. Home builders / general contractors of large construction projects should: 1. Provide electricity at long term tool and equipment storage locations being supplied to subcontractors; and 2. Ensure that the maps of construction sites provided to local emergency response personnel include all storage locations for materials and equipment. In addition, manufacturers of fuel-burning generators should: 1 Provide warnings about the hazards of carbon monoxide associated with fuel-burning generators on labels permanently affixed to the generators, in compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC); and 2. Promote research to develop fuel-burning generators that reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
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; Protective-measures; Machine-operation; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Training; Confined-spaces; Gas-detectors; Warning-signs; Warning-systems; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers
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-06MA059; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
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