Focus Area: Asphyxiation

The documents related to the risks of Asphyxiation can be downloaded on this page.

Oxygen deficiency presentation - PR 01

An overview of the risks of asphyxiation.

Hazards of Oxygen Deficient Atmospheres - Doc 44

This publication sets out the essential information necessary to prevent asphyxiation incidents involving inert gases.

It is not a detailed procedure for confined space entry but focuses on the considerations that are important when there is an actual or potential hazard from inert gases or oxygen deficiency.

The minimum safe oxygen concentration for entry into a space is 19.5% oxygen. There are applications with oxygen concentrations less than 19,5% where entry is permitted provided that further precautions are taken in accordance with proper risk assessment and national regulations.

As well as the references in the text, this publication is supported by EIGA’s Safety Leaflet SL 01 Dangers of Asphyxiation.

This publication is intended for supervisors, line managers, direct workers and users wherever inert gases are produced, stored, used, or where oxygen depletion could otherwise occur and may be used as the basis for training.

Work Permit Systems - Doc 40

Reviews of accidents both inside and outside of the industrial gases industry often reveal that at least one of the following causes have contributed to the accident:

-        Hazards associated with a task were not adequately identified; and/or

-        Appropriate risk prevention measures were not properly identified and/or implemented.

The use of a work permit system to manage potentially hazardous work tasks should ensure that risk is reduced to an acceptable level. This publication is intended to outline the key elements of a good work permit system for work performed at an EIGA member company operating site.

This publication also only concerns itself with the general work permit. Additional separate procedures and extra authorisations would normally be required for specific high risk tasks such as; confined space. entry, hot work, high voltage electrical work or tasks utilising notifiable radiation sources.

This publication is only a guideline for creating and implementing a work permit process and provides a general outline of the key elements of a good robust work permit process. It is not intended to be the work permit procedure itself.

This publication is intended to provide guidance to new/smaller member companies developing their own work permit systems and to provide elements for consideration when reviewing more established work permit processes.

Dangers of Asphyxiation - SL 01

Each year there are a number of deaths reported to EIGA that involve asphyxiation caused by industrial gases. The majority of these fatalities are caused by people entering a confined space where there is an oxygen deficient atmosphere, usually caused by the presence of an inert gas.


EIGA believes that all workers should understand and search for potential asphyxiation hazards, in enclosed spaces as well as near to equipment containing gases or cryogenic liquids... take care and warn others.


EIGA’s safety leaflet on this issue “Asphyxiation - the hidden killer” has been revised and brought up to date. The leaflet explains the common risks and hazards, the causes and effects of asphyxiation and provides basic guidance on procedures that should be observed to stay safe. It contains an outline summary of the hazards of inert gases, methods that can be used to control the risks in the workplace and provides references to other EIGA documents.


The leaflet is intended for everyone involved in our industry or handling our gases.