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The prevalence of work-related deaths associated with alcohol and drugs in Victoria, Australia, 2001–6


To describe the presence of alcohol, cannabis and amphetamines in work-related injury deaths in Victoria, 2001–6, an observational study of work-related deaths reported to the State Coroner's Office, Victoria, Australia was conducted. Case and postmortem forensic toxicology data were obtained from the National Coroner's Information System for work-related injury deaths with positive toxicology screens. Over 6 years there were 43 worker deaths in a total of 355 unintentional work-related injury deaths. The coroner mentioned the presence of alcohol/drugs in 22 of the 43 worker deaths with positive toxicology screens. Toxicology screens were positive for alcohol and/or drugs in 79 work-related deaths overall. Overall, alcohol was present in 26 (7%) work-related deaths and cannabis or amphetamines in 20 (6%). Incidents were mainly transport related. Alcohol and/or drugs were present in a significant portion of work-related deaths. Research is needed to determine the relative contribution of alcohol and drugs compared with other contributing factors to work-related deaths.

  • Alcohol
  • drugs
  • injury deaths
  • occupational
  • work-related

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