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Deaths involving air-line respirators connected to inert gas sources.
Hudnall JB; Suruda A; Campbell DL
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1993 Jan; 54(1):32-35
Deaths occurring in 1987 and 1988 due to asphyxiation involving air line respirators were evaluated. There was a total of ten incidents involving 11 fatalities. An air line respirator supply hose was connected to a line which normally carried inert gas in seven of these deaths. Leakage or backfill of inert gas into a line which normally carried breathable air accounted for four deaths. Nitrogen (7727379) was the agent in ten of the deaths and argon (7440371) in one. The major factors in the accidental deaths were coupling compatibility and supervisory oversight. The authors recommend that individuals responsible for the use of air line respirators review their respiratory protection programs to ensure that the coupling of the respirator air lines are incompatible with any other fitting used at the worksite. An effort should be made to design and maintain separate gas distribution systems for breathable air, pneumatic tools, fire suppression, and other work related needs.
NIOSH-Author; Respiratory-equipment; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Inert-gases; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division