Dangerous goods on DMP radar


As part of Safe Work Australia Week 2012, the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is working to improve the general public's safety awareness when transporting small quantities of dangerous goods.

At present, licences are not required for transporting small amounts of dangerous goods, such as those purchased at hardware stores.

However, drivers still need to adhere to rules such as segregating or separating mixed dangerous goods loads and ensuring adequate ventilation.

To promote this, DMP dangerous goods director Philip Hine said the department had launched an awareness campaign to make drivers aware of the rules and risks surrounding the transportation of small quantities of dangerous goods.

"While transport operators are guided by the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, some small private operators like couriers, tradesmen and farmers have a lack of understanding in this area," Mr Hine said.

"This means they're adopting poor transport practices, particularly when transporting fuels, cooking and welding gas and toxic products such as fumigants, pool chemicals and cleaning agents."

Some common mistakes the department is witnessing involve passenger vehicles carrying liquefied petroleum (LP) gas cylinders and fuel jerry cans inside vehicles.

"It is not unusual to see trade vehicles with oxy-acetylene gear in the back - with the gas regulators still attached," Mr Hine said.

"In country areas, fumigants and other toxic chemicals have been found on the seat or cabin floor."

Mr Hine added some drivers needed to realise that chemicals can react when mixed, potentially leading to fires, explosions and toxic gas.

"It is important to know which chemicals need to be separated or kept apart," he said.

"It wasn't too long ago that a driver was badly burnt after lighting a cigarette in a vehicle where petrol fumes had accumulated after venting from a jerry can."

·For more information on transporting dangerous goods,

go to www.dmp.wa.gov.au

_Safe Work Australia Week 2012 runs from 21 to 27 October _

The Department of Mines and Petroleum *

·The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) employs 15 dangerous goods inspectors.

·So far in 2012, the department has handed out 94 remediation notices and 19 infringement notices for dangerous goods transportation, while in 2011 the DMP issued 39 remediation notices and one infringement notice. A remediation notice is issued when the DMP requires someone to take action to fix an issue, while an infringement notice is an on-the-spot fine.

·So far in 2012 there has been 17 reported dangerous goods transport incidents.

_Dangerous Goods Transport Incidents in WA in 2011 _

Eleven dangerous goods transport incidents were reported in 2011, which is on par with the annual average for the past 20 years. About half of the reported incidents were attributed to human error, with no dangerous goods loads being the causal factor in any incident. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries or fatalities resulting from any of these incidents.

_Reported incidents in 2011: _

·February 8, near Albany - Drums containing Jet A1 (aviation fuel) fell from a trailer. All were damaged and about 300 litres of fuel was spilled.

·March 7, near Leonora - A kibble restraint mechanism vibrated loose, resulting in zinc sulphide concentrate falling onto the road shoulder. The contaminated soil was removed.

·July 11, Fitzroy Crossing - The middle trailer of a triple road train carrying flammable liquids rolled over. All fuel was safely recovered.

·July 20, Aubin Grove - A vehicle carrying sodium hypochlorite solution collided with a light pole. There was no loss of product.

·July 28, near Minilya Roadhouse -The rear trailer of a road train carrying aviation fuel rolled over, causing a major fuel leak.

·August 22, Myalup - An LP Gas tanker rolled over and some LP Gas leaked through the roughage.

·August 24, near Minilya Roadhouse - The second trailer of a B-double rolled over, spilling about seven tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

·October 5, near Port Hedland - LP Gas and oxygen cylinders fell from a trailer and vented.

·October 11, Fremantle - About 800kg of ammonium nitrate spilled from a freight container.

·November 24, Meckering -The rear trailer of a road train carrying LNG rolled, causing some product to vent.

·November 29, near Telfer - The rear trailer of a double road train carrying ammonium nitrate prills rolled over, spilling 20 tonnes of the 30 tonne load.

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