The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

New Regulation for NSW Tanker Trailers

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 27, 2014

Heavy-goods vehicle tank trailers constructed after July 1st 2014 will need to have an approved roll-over protection device installed to drive on NSW roads.

The new ruling is part of a revision to the Dangerous Good (Road & Rail Transport) Regulation (2009).

The new rules apply to everyone who owns, operates or uses tank trailers for carriage of dangerous goods.

The new rules come int effect following the 2011 Coronial recommendation that heavy-vehicles transporting dangerous goods be fitted with the new technology available to prevent roll-overs.

The requirements relate to all trailers greater than 4.5 tonnes and includes semi-trailers, B-doubles, and dog-trailers.

 

Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 10, 2014

The US FA report, Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014), provides best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response. Topics covered include common crash causes and crash prevention, internal and external factors for improving response and roadway safety, vehicle design and maintenance, and regulating emergency vehicle response and roadway scene safety.

Summary and Recommendations;

In analyzing all the information that is contained in the report, please note the following list of recommendations relative to improving emergency vehicle and roadway incident safety:

·       There must be continued effort at the local, state and federal levels to support research and provide new information on this topic to emergency responders.

·       Agencies that operate emergency vehicles and/or operate at roadway incident scenes shall use the information contained in these various research reports to strengthen their SOPs, training programs and incident operations.

·       Design all new emergency vehicles to meet, as a minimum, the appropriate national consensus standards for that type of vehicle. Use the information contained in the various research reports regarding enhanced emergency vehicle visibility, conspicuity and lighting as a guide to exceed minimum standards and improve vehicle and scene safety, where applicable.

·       Fully train all emergency vehicle drivers for each type of vehicle that they are expected or assigned to drive.

·       All agencies within a given jurisdiction must work together to ensure that roadway incident response roles, policies and procedures among the agencies are defined, consistent, applied and enforced. Interagency training sessions are useful for ensuring appropriate handling of emergency incidents.

·       Train all personnel who operate at roadway incident scenes to perform their roles according to local SOPs; mutual-aid agreements; and applicable local, state and federal laws and national standards.

·       Ensure that all personnel wear appropriate personal protective clothing and retroreflective vests or garments when operating at incidents on or adjacent to a roadway. The only exceptions to wearing retroreflective vests or garments are when personnel are required to wear chemical protective suits or SCBA during the course of their duties.

·       Thoroughly investigate all emergency vehicle response and roadway scene incidents to determine the circumstances and causal factors that played a role in the incident. This should include all near-miss, injury, fatal or otherwise unusual incidents. Use this information to amend policies and procedures, if necessary.

·       Use the NIMS-ICS at all roadway incident scenes, and ensure that all agencies and personnel operate within the command structure.

·       Develop departmental regulations that require that all emergency vehicles operate at a safe and controllable speed and that all members be seated and belted when the vehicle is in motion.

·       Ensure that all vehicles that respond to roadway incidents are equipped with the appropriate types and amounts of traffic control equipment and at least one retroreflective vest for each person riding on the vehicle.

 

Pyrolosis in Truck Tyres

Graham Marshall - Friday, July 19, 2013

Coming into contact with overhead power lines when driving can cause the tyres on trucks, cranes and other heavy vehicles to catch fire and explode.

Five workers have been killed by exploding tyres in Australia in recent years and many more injured as excessive heat developing in tyres has led to the unpredictable phenomenon known as pyrolysis.

Pyrolysis can occur when excess heat is applied to a tyre.

Often it is a result of electrical arcing and current flow when rubber tyred vehicles have been involved in high voltage electrical incidents.

The heat decomposes the rubber and other compounds used to manufacture the tyre, creating a ready fuel source.

The ratio of this fuel to the air used to inflate the tyres can then reach flammable or LEL (explosive) levels.

The explosive energy released during a tyre explosion can lead to serious injuries or fatalities and significant equipment damage.

Because of the amount of kinetic energy released, a danger area up to 300 metres away is typically required to be established.

Pyrolysis related explosions are unpredictable, sometimes happening immediately, sometimes up to 24 hours after the heat was applied to the tyres.

And the explosion can happen with no visible signs of a fire on the outside of the tyre before it explodes.

Besides electrical heat sources, other sources of heat that lead to pyrolysis in tyres include welding (e.g., on wheel rims), oxy/acetylene heating wheel nuts, overheating brakes and wheel motor fires.

Tyre explosions predominantly occur with split rim configurations, but can happen with all types of tyres.

Any pneumatic rubber tyred vehicle involved in an incident where an electrical fault results in discharges or arcing around or through the tyres should be considered a potential hazard.

Procedures to follow when there is a danger of a tyre explosion, such as when a rubber tyred vehicle has contacted overhead power lines include:

+ Parking the vehicle in an isolation zone, with a minimum 300 metre radius;

+ Removing everyone from the area, and not allowing anyone to re-enter the isolation zone for 24 hours; and

+ Alerting fire fighting services to the potential hazard.

It should be noted that if pneumatic tyres are filled with nitrogen instead of air, it reduces, if not eliminates the risk of pyrolyic tyre explosion.

Proposed Changes to ADG7

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 18, 2013
Australian Truckies carrying dangerous goods will soon need to change the way they store thier transport documents. 

A proposal from the National Transport Commission (NTC) to bring the 7th edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG7) in line with international regulations makes changes to the storage of transport documents. 

The ADG7 is based in the United Nations’ model regulations. 

The NTC says its proposed amendments will adopt the latest UN regulations. ADG7 was published in 2007 to align with the 15th edition of the UN regulations. 

The UN regulations are now in their 17th edition. 

The main new requirement is for drivers to be made to store transport documents in Emergency Information Holders (EIHs). 

The ADG7 does not currently dictate how transport documents should be carried or where theyshould be located.

This has often made it difficult for enforcement or emergency response officers to locate them. 

The new provision from NTC imposes a clear requirement for drivers to carry transport documents in EIHs when moving placarded loads. 

The NTC’s proposal will also amend the code to make it a condition for supplying transport documents suitable for placing in EIHs.

It says the amendment is designed to address the problem of operators and drivers receiving documents that do not fit in the holders. 

The new provision will also prevent drivers being handed documentation in sealed envelopes from consignors.

The public has been given until September 2 to provide feedback on the NTC’s recommendation. 

Fatal Crash on US Highway 2 near Stanley in ND

Graham Marshall - Saturday, June 22, 2013

A crash and subsequent fire involving two semi-trucks and three pickup-trucks occurred today on  U.S. Highway 2 between Stanley and Palermo.

The crash occurred in thick fog at about 635am with at least one vehicle colliding broadside into a tanker carrying oil.

One tanker was from MIB and one pick-up truck belonged to Triangle Electrical.

The fire was burning for several hours and multiple fatalities are expected.

Employees from Risk Tool Box were driving on Highway 2 at the time of the crash and report that a number of vehicles were speeding at excessive speed.  All of our employees are accounted for.

Dr Graham Marshall from the Risk Tool Box said "the fog was pretty thick and it was only safe to be doing 50mph.  Some cars were travelling much quicker as they overtook me".

 This accident serves as a reminder to just slow down when driving in North Dakota.

Danger of Driving in Outback

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 06, 2013

The ever-present danger of driving in the "outback" of Australia is again re-iterated by this safety alert from Santos and APPEA.

The alert shows how a two-vehicle accident occurred when a closely-following vehicle collided with the another vehicle which had struck a kangaroo on the road.

The resulting accident caused both vehicles to roll-over.  Thankfully, the injuries to those concerned were not too severe.

Dangerous Vehicle Recovery

Graham Marshall - Thursday, April 25, 2013
The danger's of recovering vehicle's are highlighted in this safety alert from Santos and APPEA.

In the incident, a chain hook parted resulting in a chain "whipping" through the windscreen of the vehicle and narrowly missing the driver.

The alert highlights once again the critical need to follow appropriate Procedures for higher-risk jobs and to ensure that a real-time assessment is made which highlights the necessary controls to be used.


Importance of Securing Loads

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 08, 2013

All loads, whether large or small should be adequately secured when being transported by road.

The Origin Energy safety alert shown below highlights how packing crates which are not fit for purpose, or have become unfit for purpose over time can become dangerous in themselves.

The incident shows how a  part of the packing crate disintegrated and was ejected from a moving vehicle on a highway in Queensland Australia.

This high-potential incident could have led to disastrous consequences, but in this instance, luck intervened and no other road users were harmed.

Traffic Management Risk Assessment

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 25, 2013

Accidents involving vehicles and mobile plant are common in workplaces and some of these events result in people being killed.

Pedestrians are knocked down, run over, or crushed against fixed parts by vehicles or mobile plant.

Falls from vehicles are also relatively common events – whether getting on or off, working from a tray or truck-bed, or when loading or unloading.

So all employers and employees need to think about whether there is an easier, safer way of doing the job.

Employers should organize a risk assessment which should consider all workplace transport activities and the locations where they occur.

The risk assessment should consider carefully all the vehicles and people moving round the workplace .

It is a good idea to mark the traffic and pedestrian movements on a plan so you can see where pedestrians and vehicles interact.

The assessment should identify improvement opportunities that will reduce the contact between pedestrians and moving vehicles.

Remember to include less frequent vehicle activity in the assessment and make sure to consider the requirements for delivery drivers.

Below are listed some additional tips for performing the site transport risk assessment:

+   Aim to ensure that pedestrians are safe from moving vehicles;

+   If possible, aim to develop a traffic one-way system;

+   Try to provide separate routes for pedestrians and vehicles;

+   Avoid reversing where possible;

+   Provide appropriate crossing points where pedestrians and traffic meet;

+   Install appropriate signs to indicate vehicle routes, speed limits, and pedestrian crossings;

+   Signs should meet national standards;

+   Make sure lighting is adequate where people and vehicles are working in the dark;

+   Make sure road surfaces are suitable for vehicle movement - especially for fork-lift vehicles;

+   Make sure there are safe areas for loading and unloading;

+   Try to provide separate car parking for visitors as they may not know your site;

+   Ensure you have a training program for lift truck operators;

+   Reassess lift truck operators at regular intervals, or when new risks arise such as changes to working practices;

+   Train drivers of other vehicles to a similar standard;

+   Make sure all drivers are supervised;

+   Ensure company vehicles are suitable for the purpose for which they are used;

+   Service the vehicles to the manufacturers' recommended schedule;

+   Provide gauges and controls that are accessible from ground level in order to eliminate the need for people to climb;

+   Reduce the risk of falling when people have to climb onto a vehicle or trailer by providing well-constructed ladders, non-slip walkways and guard rails;

+   Provide reversing aids such as CCTV where appropriate;

+   Ensure a "spotter" is used when vehicles are required to reverse; and

+   Fit rollover protective structures and ensure seat belts are worn at all times.



Double Blow to Promoters of Speed Cameras

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 09, 2013

We've long-argued that hiding speed-cameras in the bushes or the back of parked Nissan SUVs is a sham and has no place in a modern road-safety campaigns.

No modern health and safety program or professional in the business-world would advocate such an approach to safety promotion.

And the use of such cameras has now recieved a double blow.

Firstly, a judge in the US state of Ohio has said that automated speed-traffic cameras are "a scam" that cheats drivers.

And the UK Department of Transport has also now been forced to review speeding fines and infringements for thousands of motorists because cameras were used to trap motorists on roads where the posted legal speed limits were not clear to drivers.

Over in Ohio, Hamilton County Common Pleas' Judge - Robert Ruehlman - on Thursday struck-down the "automated speed enforcement program" where two installed cameras reportedly resulted in 6,600 speeding citations in the first month after enforcement began in September. 

The judge noted that the 6,600 infringements issued were more than three times the actual population of the village where the cameras were installed.

In making his decision, the Judge said that the speed cameras were "nothing more than a sham!".

He went on to say that the camera were engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of Three Card Monty (what we Australians call "Find the lady").

He added, "It is a scam that motorists can't win."

He noted that individuals and businesses have suffered as a result of the traffic cameras. "Churches have lost members who are frightened to come to Elmwood and individuals who have received notices were harmed because they were unable to defend themselves against the charges brought against them," he said.

In America, 13 states have speed cameras in operation, while 12 states have passed laws prohibiting them, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

In the USA, critics of speed and red-light cameras argue that the devices violate motorists' rights.

The say law enforcement agencies are using automatic cameras mainly to raise revenue, not to boost traffic safety.

We tend to agree that this is the same situation here in Western Australia.


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