Deaths from asphyxiation and poisoning at work in the United States 1984-6

A. Suruda, J. Agnew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A review of 4756 deaths investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1984-6 found 233 deaths from asphyxiation and poisoning, excluding asphyxiations from trench cave-ins. The highest rates were in the oil and gas industry and in utilities. Toxic gases were the largest group (65) followed by simple asphyxiants (48), mechanical causes (42), and solvents (35). Deaths from solvents were significantly more likely in young workers. Nine deaths were caused by improper air supply to respirators and five by recreational inhalation of gas or vapours. Of the 146 deaths in confined spaces, only 12% were in rescuers, fewer than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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