The Queensland Mines Inspectorate has issued a safety alert about the use of chemicals, after two mine workers were exposed to an elevated concentration of 1 Bromopropane (1 BP) vapours.
The two workers poured an electric motor cleaner over a shuttle car conveyor gear box they were servicing.
The gear box was warm to touch, which increased the vapour.
According to the Inspectorate, the two workers were positioned immediately on the return ventilation side, although it was not sufficient to dissipate the vapours.
Both workers suffered respiratory irritation and one operator has nervous system disorders that are consistent with exposure to high concentrations of 1 BP.
The cleaning product consisted of more than 60% 1 BP.
Exposure to 1 BP can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract.
According to the Inspectorate, there have been recent documented cases where those exposed have been diagnosed with damage to the nervous system
The safety alert recommends that all work involving hazardous substances should be subject to a risk assessment and approved for use in accordance with the site’s chemical approval process.