A computer based application of the Sentinel Health Event (Occupational) (SHE(O)) concept was described for the monitoring of work related deaths. The SHE(O) concept for surveillance of occupationally related disease, disability, and mortality was a part of the Surveillance Cooperative Agreement between NIOSH and States (SCANS). Participating states included Maine, upstate New York (excluding New York City), Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Utah, and Rhode Island. Program activities included the coding of industry and occupation entries from death certificates and developing computer software for potential SHE(O) selection. Code assignments by industry and occupation were tested using 1984 death certificate information provided by the SCANS states. The computer model used the information for the selection of deaths by matching the recorded deaths with previously published lists of disease rubrics, industries, and occupations. The program selected approximately 2 percent of all reported deaths. The most frequent causes of work related mortality were lung cancer and coal workers' pneumoconiosis. The authors conclude that the utility of the SHE(O) program and its application to death certificates needs further evaluation before widespread use can be recommended.