Dangerous Goods News - July 2019

Dangerous Goods News - July 2019
Welcome to Store-Safe's Dangerous Goods July 2019 newsletter. 

We've compiled the most relevant dangerous goods news articles from Australia and overseas from the AIDGC newsletter. In the July issue, read about the upcoming AIDGC Conference and Pre-Conference Workshop, Safety In Action Conference, Charges laid against CSIRO, the new A-Z Farm Safety Guide in NSW, and more.

 I hope you find it interesting and if you need any assistance with any of your safe storage needs, please call us on 1800 888 714

AIDGC Annual Conference 2019

“Modern Warehousing of Dangerous Goods in Mixed Classes”
Friday 13th Sep 2019

Along with the customary presentation on updates in regulations and compliance programs, presentations on theme topics including (subject to change):
Planning approval for DG warehouses in NSW – offsite and environmental issues
Risks associated with design of retail distribution centres
The fire protection challenge in distribution centre design
Handling issues in mixed class warehouses; hazardous areas, equipment, ongoing compliance
Aerosols in mixed class warehouses
AS/NZS 3833:2007 issues to be addressed in any revision

Venue: Parkroyal, Darling Harbour, Day Street, Sydney CBD
A 5-minute walk from Town Hall Station. 
From Airport 20 + minute train to Town Hall Station
Download conference registration form to view fees and the programme

AIDGC Half-day workshop

"Storage and Handling of Aerosols"
Thursday afternoon 12th September 2019.

Three expert presentations followed by open panel discussion; topics including guidance in the absence of an Australian Standard and issues in both flammable only stores and mixed class warehouses.

Venue: Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club, 117 Ryedale Rd, West Ryde
Ample parking and adjacent to West Ryde Station (T9 Northern Line).
From Airport 45+ minute by taxi or 50 min by train.

Download workshop registration form to view fees and the programme

Safety In Action 2019

Tuesday 10th & Wednesday 11th September
Melbourne Conference & Exhibition Centre

For the last eighteen years the Safety in Action series of exhibitions have been the meeting place for the Australian safety industry. Thousands of safety professionals across the industry have visited Safety in Action to discover new solutions to help them achieve their goals in creating safer workplaces.

Not only can they network with over 120 exhibitors, Safety in Action will provide new ways of safety learning by means of practical workshops from industry experts, exhibitor meeting services to receive personal advices, Q&A sessions with experts & safety tours in which professionals guide you over the show floor and introduce you to some key brands and developments in your specific sector.

Trafalgar Store-Safe will be exhibiting the Australian Made patented ‘Stay-Open’ Double door dangerous goods cabinets, which feature 180 degree opening doors that eliminate expensive and disruptive repairs.  Visit Stand H9 to find out more.


Flammable Foam Panels in Food Processing

Older forms of panels used to freeze and chill products in food processing plants have forced up insurance premiums for the companies using them, with some serious knock-on effects.

The expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels are highly flammable and have been blamed for two highly destructive fires at two of Australia's largest meat processors in the past two years.

Thomas Foods International's abattoir at Murray Bridge in Adelaide was destroyed in early 2018 after sparks from welding ignited the combustible panels, and in late 2016 a fire at the Swickers Bacon Factory in Kingaroy, Queensland, burnt parts of the plant to the ground.

Since then, Australian-based insurance underwriters have responded by reducing their exposure to the risk associated with companies still using the panels.

For the country's largest meat and dairy cooperatives, which are 100 per cent grower-owned, it has made insurance costs unsustainable.

Source: ABC NEWS

Seaweed Farmers sue over Aussie Oil Spill

More than 15,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers have launched a Sydney lawsuit claiming a 2009 oil spill in Northern Australia destroyed their livelihoods.

The class action, led by Daniel Sanda, is against the oil company PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd and relates to the Montara oil spill that resulted in thousands of barrels of oil pouring into the Timor Sea over 70 days. Opening the case in the Federal Court today, their barrister Julian Sexton SC alleged the company was negligent in failing to safely operate the Montara wellhead and the incident had been foreseeable.

The mixture of the oil and chemical dispersants, used after the spill, led to the solution spreading and destroying the seaweed crop and industry for that year and many years after, he said.
The oil field was located about 250 km northwest of the West Australian coast and about 700 km from Darwin.

The rig spewed oil and gas into the Timor Sea, in Australian waters 690km west of Darwin and 250km southeast of Rote Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia. "There were a number of intersecting acts and omissions, each of which was negligent," Mr Sexton said. The blowout on the oil rig occurred on August 21, 2009, resulting in the 69 workers being evacuated and an exclusion zone created.

Four sealing attempts failed, but the fifth try was successful after 74 days on November 3 "not without some drama because a well ignited", he said. Mr Sexton said there was some debate about how much oil was released during that time, but PTTEP had never publicly identified the basis of its estimate of 200 to 400 barrels a day.

"There was no contemporaneous scientific measure of the quantity of oil released," he said. But as a result of the spill, oil or sheen was observed over an area of approximately 90,000 square kilometres, and seaweed cultivated by the farmers was killed or destroyed.

As well as the immediate loss of seaweed, they suffered a later drop in production. The case has been set down for 10 weeks. Witnesses would include seaweed farmers who saw the oil arrive and destroy their crops as well as experts on oil spill modelling, chemistry and environmental impact. 
Source: Murray Valley Standard

Austroads: Dangerous Goods in Tunnels

This project will review local and international practice to develop a consistent method for assessing the risk of allowing dangerous goods vehicles access to road tunnels. It is commonly assumed that dangerous goods vehicles should not be allowed in road tunnels but sometimes alternative routes have a higher risk. A consistent assessment method is required to ensure decision making is transparent.

Risk Assessment Process - The development and delivery of major road tunnel infrastructure projects are hampered by the lack of a national standardised method of assessing the relative safety of routing dangerous goods vehicles (DGVs) through tunnels or via adjacent surface routes. Frequently, time pressure of projects lead to a decision to exclude DGVs from tunnels without having applied a methodology to compare the societal risk. If DGVs are applied to PPP projects, with risk allocated to the PPP entity they are likely to choose to exclude DGVs to lower the cost of the infrastructure and / or their risk levels.

Safework NSW: Health Effects from Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colourless, irritating and unpleasant smelling flammable gas used for embalming or in glues. Formaldehyde is soluble in water and often used as a water based solution known as Formalin. 

Formaldehyde solutions (Formalin) are used in hospitals, pathology and anatomy laboratories, and funeral homes for embalming, foundries and leather tanneries. Large quantities of Formaldehyde-based resins are used as glue for manufacturing wood pressed products such as particleboards and plywood. It is also present in low concentrations in a variety of consumer products.
Exposure can cause: Irritation, burns and allergic reactions with direct skin contact; Serious damage with direct eye contact; and Eye, nose and throat irritation through inhalation.

Source: SafeWork NSW

Vic. WHS Charges over Laboratory explosion

CSIRO has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws over an explosion at a Melbourne research facility.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed four charges in the Magistrates Court of Victoria, alleging the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation failed in its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The charges follow an investigation by regulator Comcare and relate to an incident at CSIRO’s Clayton site on 6 June 2017. A researcher was conducting an experiment that involved sawdust being heated at pressure using hydrogen gas in an autoclave.

Gas leaked from the autoclave and ignited, causing injuries to the scientist including cuts, bruises and facial burns. There was extensive damage to the building, with debris being thrown up to 20 metres away. The charges relate to alleged failures regarding the provision of a safe work environment, charges are Category 2 offences under the WHS Act, each carrying a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

The matter is listed for mention in the Moorabbin Magistrate’s Court on 3 July.

NSW has a new A-Z Farm Safety Guide

The guide was produced in a partnership that included SafeWork NSW, NSW Farmers and farmers themselves to make health and safety compliance easier, said NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson.

“This is a ground-breaking tool created by farmers for farmers, and includes cost-effective advice on the biggest work, health and safety concerns,” Anderson said.

“This guide gives great advice on how people can manage heat, the use of chemicals, as well as fall prevention techniques and tips for working in confined spaces.

“Work health and safety is everyone’s business. Even if you are self-employed, you are legally responsible for the health and safety of everyone who comes onto your farm including family members, visitors and customers.”

Source and further information: SafeWork NSW

Vic. Toxic Waste Dumpers to face Gaol

The Andrews Labor Government is cracking down on rogue operators who put Victorians at risk by flouting dangerous goods laws with tough new offences and harsher penalties to be introduced.

Under the proposed Dangerous Goods Amendment (Penalty Reform) Bill 2019, a new ‘reckless conduct’ offence will be created, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years prison for individuals who engage in reckless conduct in the manufacture, storage, transport, transfer, sale or use of dangerous goods that places a person in danger of death.

Body corporates who engage in reckless conduct that places a person in danger of death will face fines of up to $6.4 million.

Existing penalties for failing to comply with the Dangerous Goods Act, where someone should have reasonably known their actions would endanger health and safety, property or the environment will be increased from four to five years imprisonment and from $161,000 to $290,000 in fines for individuals.
Fines for body corporates for endangering health and safety will substantially increase from $806,000 to $3.2 million.

Fines will also be increased for failing to comply with the direction of a WorkSafe Inspector, and for several other offences of failing to carry out duties under the Act.

The changes follow the Labor Government’s review into penalties available under the Dangerous Goods Act, following the discovery of dangerous goods waste stockpiles in warehouses in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

WorkSafe is leading a government agency taskforce to remove the dangerous goods waste from 12 warehouses in Epping, Campbellfield and Craigieburn.
Source: ABC NEWS

Update on northern suburbs waste chemical sites

Five million litres of waste chemicals have been removed so far, and three sites in Epping have been completely cleared.
Source and more information: WorkSafe Victoria

Have Your Say – 7th Revised Edition of GHS

Over the coming months, Safe Work Australia will be consulting on the proposal to adopt an updated edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) for workplace hazardous chemicals. 

Since 1 January 2017, the 3rd revised edition of model Work Health and Safety laws

As Australia’s transition to the GHS is now complete, it is time to move beyond GHS3 to ensure Australia’s classification and labelling requirements for workplace chemicals are aligned  with our key trading partners, as they move to the 7th revised edition of the GHS (GHS 7). 

Safe Work Australia values the engagement of its stakeholders and your feedback will help ensure any changes to Australia’s classification and hazard communication requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals are implemented in a way which minimises impacts to the industry. 

To stay informed about the upcoming consultation, go to the consultation platform, ENGAGE, to register to have your say in July 2019.

Source: Safe Work Australia


There is now a new Australian industrial chemicals law — the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019. This law creates a new regulatory scheme for the importation and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia (to replace NICNAS) from 1 July 2020.

The ban on the use of new animal test data for ingredients solely used in cosmetics will also begin on 1 July 2020.

View the new Industrial Chemical Act 2019 here

Early Regulatory Changes affecting chemical importers and manufacturers now in effect

Whilst the new scheme will begin on 1 July 2020, early regulatory changes are now in effect under the current scheme (NICNAS).

Read all the details about these changes here

Chemical Gazette

Young NSW Workers in Recent Prosecutions

During the last quarter, SAFEWORK NSW prosecuted eight companies in the district and local courts for breaching work health and safety laws. In all these cases businesses were fined for tragedies that could have easily been avoided.

In four cases, young workers were seriously injured, and one young worker died. Two more young workers were critically injured in incidents while cleaning in commercial kitchens. A 17 year old male suffered third degree burns to both his feet and subsequently spent seven weeks in hospital while mopping up hazardous chemicals at a Queanbeyan hotel.

A 24 year old male slipped and stepped into a pot of hot cooking oil when he was cleaning the canopies of a commercial cooking unit. He also sustained third degree burns up to his knee and required skin grafts.

Regardless of how a young worker is employed or in which industry, they require extra support to ensure they are carrying out their tasks correctly and safely.

Refer to our Young workers e-Toolkit which has a range of resources including presentations, videos and fact sheets that have been specifically developed to support young workers' safety.
Source: SafeWork NSW

Apec recommends Regional GHS Convergence Measures

Suggests adopting GHS 7th revision by 2021

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-Operation (Apec) has provided a number of recommendations for GHS convergence aimed at improving trade in chemicals following its 2019 survey of GHS implementations.

The organisation, which functions as an inter-governmental forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies promoting free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region, recommends countries in the region should consider:

adopting the 7th revision of GHS by 2021;
implementing automatic review processes for updating to newer GHS revisions;
allowing flexibility for classification for building blocks where sub-categorisation options exist; and
participation in Apec's regulator forum on individual hazard categories and concentration cut-offs.

Source: ChemicalWatch

AU Emergency Response Guide

The AU Emergency Response Guide based on the Canutec Guide (which various Dangerous Goods specialists have worked on to replace HB 76) has been brought into a single AU electronic document.

Download a copy here 
Source: National Transport Commission

Truck with Aerosols explodes on NSW Road 

Drivers experienced lengthy delays on the Hume Motorway after the trailer of a Woolworths truck carrying aerosols caught fire. Emergency services received repeat triple zero calls shortly before 4am reporting "multiple explosions" involving a b-double truck stopped between Campbelltown Road and Brookes Rd. 

Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry said it's unknown how the fire ignited, but the "large quantity of aerosols" inside the trailer resulted in an intense blaze that took more than five hours to fully extinguish. The truck driver managed to disconnect the truck from the burning trailer, avoiding both damage to the rig and injury to himself.

Source: SMH

New Classification – Welding Fumes and UV Radiation – Safety Alert

In 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation that coordinates and conducts research into the causes of human cancer, determined there was enough evidence to upgrade the carcinogenic status of welding fumes and, for the first time, to classify UV radiation.

reclassified the carcinogenic status of welding fumes from Group 2B Carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) to Group 1 Carcinogen(carcinogenic to humans).
classified UV radiation emitted during welding as a Group 1 Carcinogen.

Safe Work Australia published a Code of Practice on Welding Processes (CoP). The CoP details how a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), and workers, can effectively manage welding hazards such as fumes and radiation. The CoP also includes information on control measures such as ventilation, personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintenance of equipment.

Source: SafeWork NSW

Cleaning-up Arsenic With Australian Grown Fern

The Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata)—which is indigenous to Asia, southern Europe, tropical Africa and Australia—has a unique ability: It can absorb high quantities of the toxic element arsenic from the soil and store the substance in its fronds without dying.

Now, a team of scientists from Purdue University has finally unravelled the mystery of how the plant is able to do this by analyzing the genetic and cellular mechanisms that affect its arsenic tolerance, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology.

The findings could have important implications because soil and groundwater contaminated with arsenic poses a potential risk to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Currently, cleaning up the toxic heavy metal is a laborious and very expensive process. However, the scientists hope that the Chinese brake fern could hold the keys to a more effective solution.

“Other researchers have shown that this fern, when grown on arsenic-contaminated soils, can remove almost 50 percent of the arsenic in five years,” Jody Banks, a professor of botany and plant pathology at Purdue University, in Indiana, said in a statement. “It takes time, but it’s cheap.”

Furthermore, the team said that the new findings could one day be used to genetically engineer other plants to suck up the toxic substance from the soil more quickly and effectively than the Chinese brake fern, thus providing a solution that could potentially reduce the cost and time of arsenic clean-up.

Source: ABC NEWS

NHVR Roundtable identifies Common Truck Fire Issues

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) says it will release a series of industry bulletins following the first heavy vehicle fire roundtable meeting in Brisbane.

The regulator had launched a probe after an increased series of prime mover fires in the past year.
A number of common issues were identified during the roundtable that suggested that most heavy vehicle fires were preventable but required actions by a range of responsible parties, NHVR notes.

Some of the key issues discussed during the roundtable included:
wheel-end fires (wheel bearings, brakes, etc.)
wiring, electrical systems and components
engine bay fires 
oil and fuel leaks
trailer and load fires.

Source: ATN

WA Dangerous goods risk assessment - template

Download the Dangerous Goods Risk Assessment template, provided by Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety WA, which records information about the intrinsic hazards of the dangerous goods arising from specific physical, chemical and toxicity properties.

Download here

Training video demonstrating the behaviour of hazardous materials

Watch it here 

And from around the world

N.Z. EPA - Reassessment of Hazard Classifications

Environmental Protection Authority has approved changes to the hazard classifications of herbicide Sprinter 700DS - an agricultural herbicide, and monomethylamine - an industrial chemical used as a chemical intermediate in various industries and in scientific laboratories.

Source and further reading:

N.Z. WORKSAFE - Safe Work Instruments

The public consultation on three proposed safe work instruments relating to hazardous substances is now open.
You can find out more about the proposed safe work instruments on our website.
We are inviting the public to comment on the following proposed SWIs that will specify:
additional design standards for cylinders
a new standard for low-pressure fire extinguishers and
a standard for the design and construction of above ground stationary tanks.

Public consultation is now open and the deadline for the receipt for all submissions is 5pm Friday 5 July 2019.

Source and further information: Worksafe

Small Fine for US Hydrochloric Acid Spill

Exxon Mobil Corp. has settled a civil suit claiming the company did not immediately report a 2018 hazardous materials spill at its Gaviota Coast processing facility, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced.

In an agreement before Superior Court Judge Pauline Maxwell in Santa Barbara, the Texas-based oil and gas corporation was ordered to pay $6,322 in penalties and reimbursement for a 420-gallon spill of a hydrochloric acid mixture — a compound considered a hazardous material — at its Las Flores Canyon facility on March 31, 2018.

"The law requires immediate reporting of hazardous-material releases to both local and state authorities, for the protection of first responders, the general public, company employees and the environment," Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a statement.

Source: Santa Maria Times

Flammable Liquid spill in Massachusetts

The Fire Department was called in to help contain the accidental spill of a flammable liquid at Astro Chemicals at 26 Memorial Drive Thursday morning, according to officials.

Dennis Leger, aide to Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi, said 300 gallons of a chemical called tetaethylsicicate, a class 3 flammable liquid, was spilt when a coupling on a tanker gave way as it was being transferred into the company. Firefighters worked to contain the spill and monitored air quality, Leger said. A private company has been called to handle the clean-up. 


Undeclared Dangerous Cargoes believed to have caused Fire, Explosions on Containership 

Mis-declared chemical cargoes of calcium hypochlorite and chlorinated paraffin wax are believed to have caused a blast and fire on-board a KMTC containership at port in Thailand that resulted in 130 people being taken to hospital. The KMTC Hong Kong was alongside at terminal A2 in Thung Sukhla Laem Chabang port when a fire erupted. Nearby communities were evacuated as ash rained down from the blast. 

Port Authority of Thailand director Kamolsak Phromprayoon revealed 18 of the boxes contained chemical cargoes local media reported. Investigators found that 13 containers had cargoes of calcium hypochlorite in 13 cargos and five had cargoes of chlorinated paraffin. The shippers had not declared the dangerous cargoes and it was believed the cargoes were dolls. 

The mis-declaration of dangerous cargoes, in particular calcium hypochlorite, have been in the spotlight given the number of container cargo fires in recent years that have led to major casualties, including the fatal Maersk Honam blaze last year and the Yantian Express this year. Some container lines have taken to simply banning the carriage of such dangerous cargoes, however, this does not necessarily solve the problem with shippers simply continuing to mis-declare the dangerous cargoes.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News

Regulators to hold hearing on Fatal Wisconsin blast

Wisconsin utility regulators have scheduled hearings to address a complaint that a drilling contractor failed to notify the state utility call centre before starting work, prior to last summer’s gas explosion in Sun Prairie, which killed a fire captain and injured two other firefighters.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

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

Grant Breeze
Customer service (NSW/ACT/VIC/SA/WA) 

Glen Head 
Customer service (QLD / NT)