Mackay company Mastermyne is educating its employees about the effects energy drinks can have.
Mackay company Mastermyne is educating its employees about the effects energy drinks can have. Cade Mooney

Companies alert miners to risks

ENERGY drinks are being held up as the cause of a big increase in caffeine toxicity, a conclusion that is prompting concerns as the drinks are proving popular with mine workers trying to fight fatigue.

Mackay company Mastermyne invests a lot of time in educating its employees about energy drinks through awareness sessions.

"So they know the risks associated with energy drinks for susceptible individuals," Mastermyne executive health safety environment and quality manager Beth Jooste said.

In the mining industry there can be a high risk of dehydration, due to the amount of heavy earthmoving equipment, and an excess of energy drinks may exacerbate dehydration.

"That's the sort of stuff we are educating our workers on," Ms Jooste said.

"We want people to be aware of the risks and just be aware of the environment."

A statutory underground coal mine official, nicknamed Kernel, who alerted the Daily Mercury to the presence of Jack3d at a Bowen Basin mine, said energy drinks were also cause for concern.

"Some sites are actually prohibiting Redbull, Mother and V drinks on site," he said.

"I've seen some shift (workers) bring in three cans of Mother... to keep them going."

Kernel believes it needs to be looked at whether the (workers) are fit for duty.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Richard Kidd said drinks like that could cause people to hallucinate and develop fast heart rhythms and anxiety disorders.

An Anglo American spokesperson said the company would follow the advice of medical doctors and the Mines Inspectorate if preventing the consumption of a particular substance was required.

A BMA spokesperson said all coal mine workers had a responsibility to present fit for work, to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

"Each BMA site has a fatigue management process, which includes regular fatigue awareness sessions," they said.


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