Co-Worker Fatalities from Hydrogen Sulfide

Robert Hendrickson, Arthur Chang, Richard J. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, odorless gas that may cause rapid loss of consciousness and respiratory depression without warning. It has produced toxicity in workers in numerous industries and occupations. Methods: A review of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) for occupational deaths related to hydrogen sulfide from 1993 to 1999 was performed. Results: Fifty-two workers died of hydrogen sulfide toxicity in this 7-year period. Deaths were most commonly reported in workers who were white (85%), male (98%), and in their first year of employment with the company (48%). Common industries included waste management, petroleum, and natural gas. In 21% of cases, a co-worker died simultaneously or in the attempt to save the workers. Conclusions: Hydrogen sulfide toxicity is uncommon, but potentially deadly. Toxicity is predominantly in new workers and co-worker fatalities occur in a significant minority of cases. Proper training and education on the warning signs of hydrogen sulfide toxicity may help reduce worker fatalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-350
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

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Hydrogen Sulfide
Industry
Natural Gas
Occupational Injuries
Waste Management
Unconsciousness
Petroleum
Censuses
Occupations
Respiratory Insufficiency
Gases
Education

Keywords

  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Mortality
  • Occupational diseases
  • Overdose
  • Poisoning
  • Toxicity
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Co-Worker Fatalities from Hydrogen Sulfide. / Hendrickson, Robert; Chang, Arthur; Hamilton, Richard J.

In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 45, No. 4, 04.2004, p. 346-350.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hendrickson, Robert ; Chang, Arthur ; Hamilton, Richard J. / Co-Worker Fatalities from Hydrogen Sulfide. In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2004 ; Vol. 45, No. 4. pp. 346-350.
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