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Dangerous Goods News - March 2019

Dangerous Goods News - March 2019
Welcome to Store-Safe's Dangerous Goods March 19 Newsletter.

Here are just a few articles from this month's AIDGC newsletter.  In this issue, read about the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), update on the removal of chemical stockpiles in Melbourne, Industrial manslaughter and toughter workplace safety laws in Victoria and many more.

I hope you find it interesting and if I can assist you with any of your safe storage needs, please me call on 1800 888 714,

Grant Breeze 

Preview of Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS)

The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) is a new scheme for regulating the introduction (manufacture or import) of industrial chemicals in Australia. Introduced by the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017, AICIS is expected to replace Australia National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (Nicnas) from 1 July 2020. This article previews the new scheme and summarises the key things you need: Article

Industrial Manslaughter and Tougher Workplace Safety Laws Promised for Victoria

In the lead up to the Victorian State election, re-elected Premier Daniel Andrews made a commitment to introduce manslaughter as an offence to the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic). If the manslaughter offence is introduced, Victorian employers will face fines of up to 100,000 penalty units, equalling over $16 million, for a finding of guilt. This is more than $6 million higher than Queensland’s industrial manslaughter offence penalty, which is currently set at $10 million. Further, an individual who negligently causes a work-related death may face imprisonment for up to 20 years. Labor also made various other safety-related commitments, including: ? investing $12.7 million to improve WorkSafe’s capacity to deal with safety risks on large construction sites and engaging 40 additional specialist inspectors over a 4-year span; ? introducing a $3 million health and safety strategy for farms; and ? acting on recommendations of last year’s OHS compliance and enforcement review. Source and article

Work to remove Chemical Stockpiles begins

The delicate task of clearing out warehouses packed to the rafters with drums of toxic chemicals in North Melbourne's is "like a game of Jenga", authorities say. One wrong move could ignite millions of litres of dangerous chemicals that have been illegally stockpiled in eight warehouses in Epping and Campbellfield, WorkSafe operations chief Marnie Williams said. A WorkSafe-led taskforce including Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and fire services has begun the complex task of removing chemicals stockpiled at eight sites in Epping and Campbellfield. Once they are removed, the contents of the containers will be tested and loaded onto trucks designed to safely transport dangerous goods. The chemicals will be taken to licensed storage facilities and be further assessed before being recycled or destroyed. The chemicals were initially discovered in late December when EPA, WorkSafe and the fire services inspected a number of sites in the northern suburbs.  ABC.net.au images

   

Ammonia Nitrate on Forklift emits Smoke

Mount Isa Airport and a nearby cattle station were forced to evacuate after one tonne of ammonium nitrate being carried by a forklift had begun to produce smoke at a mine in north-west Queensland. The declaration was made and included a three kilometre area within the boundaries of Milne Bay Road and the Barclay Highway. Police received a call after a worker raised the alarm when the forklift carrying the hazardous material had started emit smoke, about four kilometres from the city of Mount Isa.
"The chemical could be very poisonous," a police spokeswoman said. The smoke appeared near a storage area so there were concerns over the possibility that it could spread, a police spokeswoman said. Source: Brisbane Times

Gas explosion at S.A. Service Station

Motorists have been forced to run for their lives after a gas explosion sparked a huge blaze at a service station in Adelaide's north. The fire caused half a million dollars damage and has sparked a safety review of LPG bowsers across the state. "It started with a gas leak and then someone went to their vehicle to turn on the ignition. At that point, there was a flash explosion," Pat Finlay from the Metropolitan Fire Service said. Two cars and fuel bowsers were engulfed by the flames after an LPG leak ignited. Emergency shut-off valves were activated, stopping the blaze from spreading to the station's fuel supply. Source: 9 News

Fuel contaminates Soil, Groundwater at Two NSW Service Stations

Leaking fuel from a Matraville petrol station has significantly polluted soil and surrounding groundwater, prompting an investigation into potential health impacts on nearby shop workers and residents. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued 7-Eleven with a clean-up notice for its service station at 515 Bunnerong Rd. A report released by the environmental watchdog stated monitoring found groundwater and soil had been significantly contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons including cancer-causing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes. The report said “the plume of contaminated groundwater … has the potential to migrate off site”. The service station is surrounding by shops and is two doors down from St Agnes’ Catholic School.

Queensland Floods – Fears that Train leaked Chemicals

Queensland Rail fears a stowed Pacific National freight train tipped over by the force of the flood in the state's north-west has leaked chemical cargo into the water. A helicopter crew conducting an aerial inspection of the flood impact on the Mount Isa line spotted the train, which had been stowed on high ground. QR chief executive Nick Easy said the 80-wagon train left at Nelia in Julia Creek on January 31 was carrying a mixture of chemicals including zinc, lead and copper anode. Source: Brisbane Times (Time Lapse Video of Flooding Rail Track in N.W. Queensland)

Trucks carrying Corrosive Chemicals crash and shut the Hume Highway

Traffic flow was affected on the Hume Highway more than nine hours after a major truck crash occurred; Two trucks collided near Sierra Street, Yerrinbool. A Transport Management Centre spokesperson said the highway was had to remain closed northbound for “some time” due to the complex clean-up and vehicle salvage operation. Video report
  March 2019 Gazette

Extension of Roll Stability Requirement for Dangerous Goods Tankers

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says a key heavy vehicle road safety initiative has now been extended to all dangerous goods tank trailers. After previously only being compulsory in new tank trailers, the EPA now requires all tank trailers carrying dangerous goods to be fitted with a roll stability system, effective January 1, 2019. Compliance checks will be carried out to ensure tank trailers carrying dangerous goods using NSW roads have fitted the rollover control system. On-the-spot fines of up to $4,000 may apply for non-compliance. EPA waste and resource recovery director Steve Beaman says the requirement is the completion of a five-year implementation period for existing vehicles, while applying to new vehicles since 2014. "This critical initiative will assist in making NSW roads safer, protect the environment from hazardous material spills and potentially save lives," Beaman says. Rollover control is an electronic system that automatically reduces vehicle speed when sensors detect wheel speed is producing a high risk of a vehicle rolling over. The safety initiative follows recommendations by the NSW Coroner after a fatal tanker accident in 2009 at East Lynne on the south coast. Source: fullyloaded.com.au

How to correctly manage Hazardous Waste

For businesses that produce hazardous waste, it is of vital importance that the waste is dealt with correctly. This waste has the capacity to harm both the environment and human health, which is why there is such an emphasis on safely storing and treating it correctly. Hazardous waste is classed as any liquid, solid, sludge, powder, or gas that can cause damage to the environment or human health. As such, the UK government has firm guidelines on the need to monitor and manage hazardous waste. In order to help you navigate this crucial area of management, 8 yard skip hire and waste management experts Reconomy have created the following (guide).

Retailer fined $415 000 for selling Dangerous Goods

A children’s toy retailer who sold musical candles which played Happy Birthday before bursting into flames and melting has been hit with a $415,000 fine by the Federal Court. The sole director of Wens Bros Trading, Wen Hui Xu, also sold leaky hot water bottles and toys containing insufficiently secure batteries that are a choking hazard for young children and have caused deaths among toddlers in other cases. Consumer Affairs Victoria took Mr Xu, 59, from Clayton, to court for selling the permanently banned "combustible" candles whose batteries are also at risk of exploding in its smouldering ruins and a range of other products after warnings they did not meet Australian safety standards. In a judgement handed down on Wednesday, Federal Court of Australia Justice Debra Mortimer repeatedly admonished Mr Xu’s approach to regulation in the past, saying she was unsure that he knew it was part of his job to abide by regulations. "I think you think someone else should do that job for you ... It’s not their job. It’s your responsibility to comply with the law," she said. Justice Mortimer also found that Mr Xu did not recognise the risks posed by the goods he was selling, or acknowledge the purposes of the safety standards and product bans. source: The Age

Plumber injured in horrific Acid Explosion

An Adelaide plumber has suffered horrific acid burns in a workplace accident this afternoon. Just after midday, the 69-year-old man was attempting to unblock a pipe at a Walkerville Terrace barbershop in the city’s north. A witness told 9News the bottle of sulphuric acid he was using pressurised and exploded in his face. They said the man ran outside screaming in pain as his clothes melted off his body. “It covered his whole body, his face, over his chest, arms, back legs and melted his clothes,” said witness Anton Brown. 9NEWS report

And from around the world:

Establishment of the WorkSafe N.Z. Chair in Health and Safety:  Victoria University of Wellington and WorkSafe New Zealand have agreed to lift performance of New Zealand’s health and safety at work, through the establishment of the WorkSafe New Zealand Chair in Health and Safety. The Chair will provide health and safety academic leadership through high quality research and teaching to advance health and safety performance in New Zealand. This will be achieved through the promotion of greater knowledge and internationally recognised research and innovation. The Chair will be attached to the University’s School of Health in its Faculty of Health. An international search for a global expert in health and safety research and teaching has begun. The role of the Chair aligns with WorkSafe’s strategic intention to enhance system leadership through the growth of effective partnerships to lift workforce capability. Source and article

Chemical Explosion in Lab at UCLA:
The mishap was reported in a laboratory at the campus in Westwood, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Amy Bastman. One patient, initially described only as male, was being treated, she said. His condition was unclear. The explosion involved what was reported to be acetone and possibly other chemicals inside a fume hood, Bastman said. There was no fire when firefighters arrived. Firefighters were working with UCLA staff to determine the extent of the damage and conduct a clean-up, she added. Source: KTLA5

Deadly 2014 Food-truck blast, ex-manager pleads Guilty to Hazmat Training Violations:  A U-Haul subsidiary and the former general manager of one of its Philadelphia stores have pleaded guilty after a food truck explosion that killed a woman and her teenage daughter. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the U-Haul Company of Pennsylvania and Miguel Rivera entered their pleas to violating federal hazardous materials regulations. Prosecutors say they used untrained workers to fill propane tanks at the Philadelphia facility in June and July 2014. Investigators have said food truck owner Olga Galdamez took her propane tanks to U-Haul where they were filled despite being old and damaged. Galdamez and her daughter, Jaylin, died from burn-related injuries after the July 2014 blast. Rivera’s attorney says his client’s plea has “no connection” to the explosion. U-Haul previously paid a $160 million settlement in the case. Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

China Proposes Regulatory Overhaul Targeting Environmental Risks from Chemicals:
China is revamping its environmental regulations on chemicals to strengthen the environmental risk control and management of chemicals and tighten its regulatory requirements for chemical manufacturers, processers, users, importers, and exporters. Last week, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) introduced new draft regulation on environmental risk assessment and control of chemical substances (see the draft regulation and the Drafters’ Explanations here). Comments on the proposed regulation are due by February 20, 2019. The proposed regulation would establish an environmental risk control and management system for chemical substances. The proposed environmental risk control and management regulatory framework integrates, and expands on, China’s existing regulatory programs (i.e., new chemical substances registration program, toxic chemicals import/export program and specified regulatory requirements on prioritized control chemicals) on environmental risk control of chemical substances. Notably, the proposed regulation would authorize governmental authorities to promulgate use restrictions, material restrictions, or even bans on certain chemical substances in the future, and impose hefty penalties on violators. Source

Company fined after Worker loses Leg:  A commercial vehicle dealer has been fined after an agency worker lost his leg from the knee down when an oil drum he was cutting up exploded. Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how on 5 January 2017, an employee of Rygor Commercials Limited was injured at Unit 13, Hambridge Business Park, Newbury, when he used oxy-acetylene gas cutting equipment to cut up empty oil drums. As the flame from this gas cutting equipment came into contact with the drum, the flammable vapours inside the drum ignited, and the drum exploded. The impact of the explosion resulted in the drum lid hitting the employee’s lower right leg and the main body of the drum landed approximately 20 metres away. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to provide a safe system of work to dispose of the stockpile of empty oil drums. The risk of fire and explosion from flammable vapour residues in the empty drums was not identified and safer disposal options were not secured. The investigation also found the company failed to provide adequate instruction, supervision and training on the risks associated with the use of oxy-acetylene gas equipment. Source and article

Canadian Dockyard fined - Spray Painting: The dockyard in St. John's has been fined $30,000 — with $10,000 of that to go to a new St. John's Regional Fire Department training program — for an incident in which a worker was overcome and rendered unconscious by paint fumes. The dockyard, operating as Newdock, pleaded guilty in provincial court Monday to four breaches of the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the Dec. 2, 2016 accident. According to an agreed statement of facts presented in court, the MV Beaumont Hamel was undergoing repairs in the dry-dock facility, and four workers were tasked with spray-painting inside a ballast tank. The court heard four of the five bays in the tank were painted without incident, though the breathable air system didn't meet the requirements of Newdock's policies nor the paint product's safety data sheet, in that it wasn't equipped with an extra self-contained air supply with a 15-minute rating. The painters didn't wear a breathable air set-up while working, because the space was too small for them to manoeuvre while wearing the equipment. Instead, they wore full-face respirators. They placed their atmospheric monitoring devices outside the tank because the sound bothered them. Source and article

Canada – Ketone Solvents harmful: Ketone solvents MEK, MIBK and 2, 4-PD are harmful to human health, according to a draft assessment by the Canadian government. In addition to many industrial applications, the chemicals are used in consumer products, such as paints, coatings, adhesives, food flavouring agents, cosmetics and biocides. The draft screening assessment, published on 19 January, concludes that they meet at least one of the criteria of section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (Cepa). If the final assessment, expected in January 2020, confirms the conclusion, the government would be obliged under Cepa to take risk management measures against the chemicals. Source: Chemical Watch

Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume: HSE Safety Alert There is new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen. Source and article

The “Colour Run” and its Safety Concerns – Sharing of Singapore’s Experience: On 27 June 2015, 15 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured in a blaze at the Colour Play Asia event at the Formosa Fun Coast Water Park, just outside Taiwan’s capital, Taipei. The fire was caused by an explosion of a dense cloud of coloured powder – a mixture of corn starch and food colouring – which was sprayed into the air at high velocity over crowds of party goers. Arising from the incident, there were safety concerns on the use of such coloured powder in other similar events worldwide, including Singapore’s own version of the Colour Run. This paper summarises the fire investigation findings from the tragedy in Taipei, and shares insights on the fire safety assessment conducted by Singapore authorities prior to its own event. Details of a laboratory analysis of the powders used and a hazard evaluation of the event will be presented. The safety measures imposed to minimise the risks involved, for Singapore’s Colour Run and other similar events, will also be discussed. Download complete paper   We hope you have found our newsletter interesting and informative. Should you require any assistance managing dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals, we recommend you contact a qualified Dangerous Goods Consultant - a list is available from the AIDGC web site at www.aidgc.org.au. Should you require any assistance with storage or labelling feel free to contact us at Store-Safe visit our web site at www.store-safe.com or follow us on Facebook.

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