Guidance about gas outbursts

On 31 March 2022, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws replaced the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection laws. For information visit

Transitional arrangements may be in place for the compliance requirements on this page.

All health and safety notifications, forms and guidance for mining and petroleum has moved to the WorkSafe website

What are gas outbursts?

Pockets of methane and other hazardous gases can be intersected during drilling activities. The presence of combustible gases can result in explosions and fires.

Personnel can be exposed to asphyxiant and toxic gases at the time of intersection, while the hole is venting, or from a hole in an area with previous intersections of gas.

Managing the risk

A risk management approach is required to identify stratigraphic sections that could contain pockets of hazardous gases so that appropriate control measures can be implemented.

Refer to Part 2 of the Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice for a discussion of gas outbursts.

Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice - 11231 Kb

Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice: This code is a practical guide to assist those involved in mineral exploration to develop and implement safe systems of work for drilling operations, particularly in remote areas.

Reporting a gas outburst

Gas outbursts are a notifiable incident under section 78(3e) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.

Refer to s. 78(3e) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.

Related information

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines has produced a Minerals exploration safety guidance note, which includes information on what to consider if natural gases are encountered during drilling.