- Promoting health and safety
- Creating mentally healthy workplaces
- Why is work health important?
- Healthy worker
- Working together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work
- Mental Health and Wellbeing - Participating and thriving in our workplaces
- Supporting ability at work
- Supporting health, performance and productivity
- Flexible work
- Building a resilient workforce
- Health Benefits of Work
- Roles and responsibilities
- Duty Holders
- Comcare research program
- Health and safety representatives
- Investing in Experience: Age diversity in the workplace
- Education & training
- Creating mentally healthy workplaces
- Preventing harm
- Managing risks in the workplace
- Managing hazards
- Early intervention
- Recovery and return to work
- Recovery and rehabilitation
- Returning to work
- Returning to independence
- Claims and benefits
- Roles and responsibilities - claims
- Can I claim?
- Lodging a claim
- Assessing a claim
- Medical treatment
- Benefits and entitlements
- Frequently asked questions
- Dispute Resolution Service
- Customer Information System (CIS)
- Our service charter
- Our fraud policy
- Case managers
- Forms & publications
- The scheme
- The SRC Act
- Legislative Instruments and Gazettal Notices under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
- Information on 2011 SRC Act amendments
- Information on 2009 SRC Act amendments
- Information on the 2007 SRCOLA Amendments
- SRC Regulations Amendments 1988 to 1999
- SRC Regulations Amendments 2000 to 2009
- SRC Regulations Amendments from 2010
- Overview of the Comcare scheme
- The Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme
- The WHS Act
- The ARC Act
- Authorities we work with
- Premium paying employers
- Our compliance and enforcement activities
- Scheme guidance
- Regulatory guides
- Regulator Performance Framework
- Cost recovery
- The SRC Act
- About us
- Organisational structure
- Comcare 2017-18 Corporate Plan
- Useful links
- Contact us
- Access to information
- Service charter
- Public Interest Disclosures
- Comcare diversity programme
- News & media
- Comcare National Conference
- Comcare Work Health and Safety Awards
- Past events
- 2017 National WHS Forums
- Learn how to manage workplace psychological injuries
- Managing Workplace Psychological and Stress Injuries
- 2016 National Conference
- 2016 National WHS Forums
- 2016 Comcare Rehabilitation Case Manager Forum - May
- 2016 Chronic Pain: New Understanding, New Paradigm, New Approach
- 2015 Comcare Rehabilitation Case Manager Forum - May
- 2015 Managing psychological injuries in the Comcare scheme
- 2015 Health and Safety Representative Forums
- 2014 Health and Safety Representative Forums
- 2014 National Conference
- 2014 Comcare Work Health and Safety Awards
- 2013 National Conference
- 2014 Preventing psychological injury in changing workplaces forum
- 2013 Rehabilitation Case Manager Forum - May
- 2012 Comcare Asbestos Forum
- 2012 Rehabilitation Case Manager Forums - November
- 2012 National Conference
- 2012 Comcare Work Health and Safety Awards
- 2012 Rehabilitation Case Manager Forums - May
- 2011 National Conference
- Health and Safety Representative Forums Cairns/Townsville
- Current vacancies
- Temporary employment registers
- Graduate Program
- Indigenous Graduate Program
- How to apply
- What we offer
- Working at Comcare
Alert 9 - Methyl Bromide-Toxic Fumigant In Cargo Containers
The purpose of this Alert is to notify the potential for federal workers, contractors or third parties to be exposed to Methyl Bromide, based on recent information obtained within the Comcare jurisdiction.
Cargo containers may pose a risk of exposure to toxic fumigants including Methyl Bromide.
When an inspection is conducted on such a shipping container, vehicle operators and other persons may be exposed to Methyl Bromide if containers are opened and ventilated in their presence.
What is Methyl Bromide?
Methyl Bromide is a colourless, odourless, flammable gas that is heavier than air. It is a gaseous pesticide used to completely fill a container to control pests (for example, insects, rodents or fungi).
The effects of Methyl Bromide may include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tremor, slurred speech and irritation to eyes, respiratory system and skin. Exposure to it can be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through skin.
To reduce the risk before containers are opened:
1. Determine whether the container has been fumigated from warning notices or clearance certificates. If in doubt, always treat the container as if it has been fumigated.
2. Place the container in a designated open area with good ventilation.
3. Set up barricades and warning signs to prevent unauthorised access.
4. Open the container door taking care to avoid exposure.
5. Before entering, ventilate the container using mechanical ventilation for at least 30 minutes, or, where mechanical ventilation is not practicable, allow natural ventilation for 12 hours in accordance with relevant Procedures. Ventilation times will be influenced by the nature of the load and how it has been packed (for example, absorbent quality of the load, restricted airflows etc).
6. Air testing should determine that the level of Methyl Bromide is below the exposure standard of 5ppm prior to entry. Where testing indicates levels above 5ppm continue ventilation.
7. Safety Data Sheets should be referred to in applying all appropriate control measures to minimise the risk of exposure to Methyl Bromide, including personal protective equipment.
8. Methyl Bromide is heavier than air and will settle in pockets within the load. As the load is shifted routinely, continue air testing to ensure the exposure standard is not exceeded. If the exposure standard is exceeded resume ventilation.
9. Choice of air testing equipment will be based on the flammable nature of the load.
AS2476-2008 General Fumigation Procedures
or contact Comcare on 1300 366 979.
PDF version available: Methyl Bromide-Toxic Fumigant In Cargo Containers [PDF 147KB]