Chemical Injury Solicitors - Miner Injury Compensation Claims

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 090

Gases are introduced into the mine through mining activities, accidents and from fissures in rocks. Explosive gases concentrated in unventilated parts of a mine can cause illness, suffocation and fatalities.

Examples of gases found in mines:

    Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide: are released from blasting, diesel exhaust and fires. Carbon monoxide is extremely toxic to breathe. It can cause respiratory illness, headaches, collapse and death.

    Nitrous fumes: are released from welding, burning of explosives, blasting, and diesel exhaust. Breathing in nitrous dioxide can cause coughing, bronchitis, pneumonia and death.

    Hydrogen sulphide: from fissures and stagnant water. It is an extremely toxic gas which irritates the lungs and can have a narcotic effect on the nervous system.

    Aldehydes: from diesel exhaust. This chemical can cause irritation to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

    Freon 11, 12, 22: from cooling plants. In high concentrations can cause suffocation.

    Acetylene: from welding.

    Methane: from rock fissures.

    Hydrogen: from battery charging.

Gas Explosions

Methane is responsible for the majority of underground mine explosions. It is almost always present in coal mines, and less often in metalliferous mines. In metalliferous mines the gas often accumulates in rare and unsuspected places, catching miners unawares. Methane needs a flame or spark to ignite it, and can be highly explosive when combined with air or oxygen between certain limits.

Gas explosions and emission of toxic fumes can also occur as a result of storage of chemicals. In one case, a number of 50 kilogram drums of sodium hydrogen sulphide stored in a container spontaneously combusted due to the ingress of water.

Chemical Spills

The handling and disposal of drums and containers containing materials of a flammable or explosive nature pose a significant threat of injury to employees if not carried out with appropriate precaution.

Miners can be exposed to hazardous liquids through spills or leaks. Some liquids such as acid may cause burns if contact is made with skin. Breathing difficulties and respiratory illness can result from inhaling toxic fumes from hazardous substances.

Each employer must make arrangements for the safe use, handling, processing, storage, transportation and disposal of all substances at the mine. Areas which store hazardous substances and dangerous goods must have adequate equipment to clean up spills or leaks.

If you have suffered an injury in the course of your employment, you should seek legal advice. Time limits apply when making compensation claims, so do not delay in taking action.

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 090