THE pre-training diet supplement known as Jack3d has been banned at a Bowen Basin mine after reports workers were using the product on site.
The Mines Inspectorate was unaware of any reports but was quick to address the issue after the Daily Mercury made enquiries about employees taking the product during shift work to manage fatigue.
"Queensland's deputy chief inspector of coal mines has contacted the senior site executive at the mine in question who informs the inspectorate that a positive directive has been issued to all employees that the use of Jack3d is banned," a Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) spokesman said yesterday.
"The mines inspectorate will also prepare a safety alert to all mines outlining the potential risk to workers associated with using substances such a Jack3d."
Jack3d contains 1,3-Dimethylamylamine, which is banned in the European Union, Canada and by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The product has also been banned from US military installations.
The Daily Mercury raised the issue this week after being contacted by a statutory underground coalmine official, nicknamed 'Kernal', who said employees at a particular mine were turning to Jack3d to manage fatigue.
"They take it down in plastic bags... chew it underground in the powder form," he said.
"It's one of those things in fatigue management that really needs to be looked at."
He said while Jack3d is legal and available for over-the-counter purchase at various stores around Mackay, it was still cause for concern "when people are really hyped up on high-caffeine products" and operating heavy machinery.
"If you are going to use a caffeine derivative, you are stretching out the time frame you shouldn't be awake," he said.
"It needs to be looked at whether the people are fit for duty.
"It's fantastic (workers) go to the gym to keep fit, but they shouldn't be taking the supplement to work."
Kernal said the trend came to his attention over the last three weeks, during which he alerted the site senior executive and mine manager and highlighted it to health and safety superintendents and different mine sites.
"If you don't pick the trend up and nip it in the bud, it's likely to end up with accidents," he said.