Two carpet cleaners were using a truck-mounted unit to clean carpets in an unoccupied townhouse. The truck was
parked in a garage attached to the townhouse and the main garage door was closed. The door from the garage into the
townhouse was open so that the hoses could run from the cleaning unit into the house.
Throughout the day, the cleaning unit was running. Its engine used gasoline for fuel. Carbon monoxide from the engine
built up and entered the open door into the townhouse. Both carpet cleaners died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is a gas produced during the combustion of fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and propane. Victims of
carbon monoxide poisoning cannot see or smell this gas so they don't realize they are in danger.
- Park vehicles with truck-mounted cleaning units outdoors.
Do not run engines fuelled by gasoline, diesel, or propane
inside buildings or enclosed areas.
- Follow the manufacturer's safety instructions.
- Watch for symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide such
as headache, watery or itchy eyes, rosy cheeks, nausea,
weakness, and dizziness. If you or co-workers have any
of these symptoms, immediately get to fresh air in an
open area. Call for medical help.
- Do not enter an area that is suspected to have high
levels of carbon monoxide. Phone for emergency help. You
could lose consciousness too quickly to rescue a victim
or escape yourself. Even emergency personnel must enter
only if they are trained and equipped to rescue someone
in a hazardous atmosphere.
- Follow a plan to check on the well-being of workers
who are working alone.