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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.

Photograph of accident scene described in paragraph above

Best Practices
  • 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.
  • More Information E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    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.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report