Cabinet advises workers exposed to toxic fumes to wear masks and personal protective clothing on the job

The Cabinet has discussed Wednesday’s tragedy in which one man
died and others were affected by carbon monoxide fumes at a
Fitches Creek residence.

Reports say that a man in his late 30s died and two others were
hospitalized, one in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), following the

Further reports are that the men were part of a work crew that was
engaged in the cleaning of a cistern.

Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph reported to his Cabinet
colleagues that workers who inhale fumes and impure air are
showing an alarming rate of illness.

As a result, the Executive encourages workers who are exposed to
conditions that are likely to affect their lungs to wear masks and
other personal protective equipment, according to this week’s
Cabinet Notes.

It is claimed that this advice preceded any knowledge of the death
and injury suffered by the three persons in Fitches Creek.

On Wednesday, the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), the Police,
and the Fire Department responded to the scene at about 12:30
p.m., after receiving a distress call.

With the assistance of fire officers, the men were taken from the

It is reported that one of the workers had begun to feel unwell, as a
result of the carbon monoxide fumes – which are scentless and
tasteless – coming from the water pump.

Reportedly, some of the first responders who went to assist the men
also were quickly impacted by the fumes, with one man immediately
beginning to lose consciousness.

Experts say it is very dangerous to use equipment such as water
pumps and generators in enclosed areas and confined spaces where
their deadly fumes can become elevated.

This is not the first such incident attributed to carbon-monoxide

In a similar scenario over 15 years ago, a man died at the bottom of
a cistern while water was being pumped from it. Other persons were
also affected, with another worker almost losing his life during that
incident. Fortunately, he recovered fully.

More recently, another such incident involved a generator that was
left running inside a closed house as a family slept. The toxic fumes
claimed the lives of a mother and her son while the father escaped