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Gruesome "high pressure injection" accidents in mines

A PERTH worker's arm following surgery after a powerful jet of grease was injected into his little finger. Surgeons were forced to place an artificial vein in his forearm. CONTRIBUTED
A PERTH worker's arm following surgery after a powerful jet of grease was injected into his little finger. Surgeons were forced to place an artificial vein in his forearm. CONTRIBUTED

A STOMACH-turning image shows the danger faced on Queensland mine sites when workers are exposed to having mixtures of oil, grease and water injected beneath their skin.

Earlier this month, Queensland's Department of Mines dispatched an industry-wide safety warning, after two incidents were reported during the Christmas break.

These "high-pressure injections" are caused by pin-hole leaks in incredibly pressurized hoses which forces the liquid into a laser stream so intense it can pierce flesh.

Once skin is broken, the power of the burst forces the mixture of chemicals into the body and risk it circulating through the bloodstream.

The image shows a man's hand after a split in the hose of a hand-held grease gun at a Perth worksite pumped grease into his little finger.

The man is understood to have squeezed out "one teaspoon of grease" after feeling a sharp "prick" to his finger - he was not wearing gloves at the time.

This seemingly tiny injury led to the worker needing surgery to have an artificial vein placed into his forearm.

Since 2007, the department sent three industry-wide warnings about the potentially fatal dangers of high-pressure injections, including one recorded at the North Goonyella Mine west of Mackay.

If not treated quickly and properly, these injuries can lead to amputation or even death as the chemicals begin to circulate throughout the body.

Topics:  mines safety


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