COAL MINE FATALITY - On Sunday, December 7, 2008, a 44 year old owner of an equipment cleaning service was overcome by the exhaust of a steam cleaner, which resulted in carbon monoxide poisoning. The victim was sitting in an area on the truck bed between two steam cleaners making repairs to one steam cleaner while the other was in operation. The victim was found slumped over the exhaust muffler of one of the steam cleaners, after being in the area working for a couple of hours.
- Never work alone around exhaust gases.
- Conduct air quality tests prior to performing work near exhaust gases where internal combustion engines are running and at frequent intervals thereafter.
- Direct exhaust gases away from the work area.
- Avoid exposure to exhaust gases wherever possible.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in work areas where internal combustion engines are being utilized.
- Maintain internal combustion engines in good working condition to minimize toxic exhaust gases.
This is the 29th fatality reported in calendar year 2008 for coal mining. As of this accident date in 2007, there were 33 fatalities for coal mines. This is the first fatality categorized as "Other" in 2008. There were no "Other" fatalities for the same period in 2007.