The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

ADG7 takes Effect in Victoria

Graham Marshall - Sunday, October 28, 2012

The State of Victoria's law is now consistent with an updated national framework for transporting dangerous goods by road or rail.

The framework, which is the responsibility of the National Transport Commission (NTC), closely aligns with international standards for the safe transport and storage of dangerous goods.

Victoria’s Dangerous Goods Act (1985) has been amended to adopt the national framework and introduce new regulations for the safe transport of dangerous goods.

For consistency, minor amendments have also been made to other Victorian regulations.

Importantly, the law now references the 7th edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG7).

ADG7 includes updated technical requirements for classifying, packing, labeling, consigning and transporting dangerous goods.

If you are already compliant with dangerous goods laws you’re well positioned to meet the new requirements.

For many workplaces and duty holders, responsibilities will not significantly change with the transition to ADG7.

All businesses must comply with ADG7.

The new requirements include:

 Some changes to labeling and marking requirements for a number of dangerous goods;

 New documentation requirements for transporting dangerous goods;

 Some new and clarified supply chain responsibilities for consignors, packers, people loading vehicles, drivers, prime contractors and rail operators;

 New word definitions and terms that align with international and intermodal practice;

 Concessions for transporting small quantities of dangerous goods, such as very small consignments and goods for personal or trade use;

 Issuing of dangerous goods licences raised from three to five years;

 Changes to eligibility for Victorian dangerous goods drivers and vehicle licences; and

 A minimum requirement for $5 million of insurance for placard loads.


Professor Murray Lampard

Graham Marshall - Saturday, October 27, 2012

Western Australia's new top road safety advisor, Professor Murray Lampard, is off to a great start in blaming the Western Australian public for its apathy over road-deaths in the State.  It breaks "Rule Number 1" of any safety promotion program - "don't blame the victims".

I think it would be fairer to say that the public of WA is more apathetic over the failures of the WA Government to curb the road fatality rate over the previous 20 years or more.  They're the real problem here, not the WA drivers who desperately need a new program and a new approach to help them reduce fatal accidents.

Since 2001 the road fatality rate has dropped 32 per cent across Australia but just 3 per cent in WA, making the State the worst in the Country.

But that statistic is not the fault of the WA public. 

Rather, it is totally a result of the inept focus of the WA road safety council on "speeding" and the widespread understanding of the population that the Government is simply interested in revenue raising by way of traffic fines.

Not a single safety professional in any industry in any country in the World would run a safety campaign that involved having "observers" hide in the workplace and jump out when they "catch" a worker doing something unsafe.

But that premise is the basis of the WA road safety campaign which sees police officers hiding in the bushes and ambushing drivers who are traveling a few kms over the posted speed limit.

Even worse that that is the use of speed cameras to snap pictures of "offenders" who don't even get the opportunity for some human-interaction with the "observer".  They just get a fine in the mail about a  month later. 

No safety campaign in reputable organizations such as Shell, BHP Billiton, BP or Woodside would ever take this approach to promoting safer behaviour.  And they have workers doing potentially high-risk jobs such as driving.

So it's no wonder that the WA public has grown apathetic to the advice of Government on this matter. We all know it's a con-trick that needs to be changed - and soon if road fatalities in WA are to be reduced.

UK set to resume fracking - good thing too!

Graham Marshall - Thursday, October 25, 2012

A survey of nearly 3,000 respondents published in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday 16th October shows that over 76 per cent of the UK population are in favour of the Government over-turning the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and allowing companies such as Cuadrilla, which used the controversial technique near Blackpool, to renew its drilling activities.

A number of independent reports recommend resuming fracking - which sees liquids pumped into rocks to force gas out – and the UK Government looks set to give the go-ahead in November.   The Risk Management Tool Box welcomes the news of the resumption of hydraulic fracturing within the UK.

Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary said: “We will make an announcement around the time of the gas strategy.”

The gas strategy - setting out the Government’s plans to encourage construction of gas-fired power plants - is expected in within the next two weeks alongside the Energy Bill, which is intended to bring forward investment in new low-carbon power plants.

Mr Davey has said that he hopes to give the green light to shale gas extraction.

The Chancellor George Osborne, has also said the Government was considering new tax breaks for shale gas “so that Britain is not left behind as gas prices tumble on the other side of the Atlantic”.

Drilling for shale reserves could create 35,000 jobs in the UK and provide a tenth of the country's gas supply for a century, claims the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The IoD has released a new report on the process with an upward revision in the estimate of the size of the UK's shale gas reserves; up from 5.3 trillion cubic feet. There will also be huge environmental benefits to using shale gas over coal-fired power plants.

Dan Lewis, chief energy adviser to the IoD said: "we have a massive reserve of shale gas sitting right beneath our feet and we must take advantage of it.  We cannot afford to pass up this opportunity".

We agree!

Be Aware of Deer When Driving This Autumn

Graham Marshall - Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn has arrived across the Northern States of the USA and across Northern Europe and Russia. 

That means that deer are starting to be particularly active in the countryside due to the smorgasbord of food available and the start of rutting season.

Follow these important tips to reduce your chances of a collision:

●  Drive with caution in areas that are known to have deer populations;

●  Recognize that deer seldom travel alone.  If you see one deer cross the road, it is likely there will be others crossing as well;

●  Be especially alert at dawn and dusk when deer are most active;

●  Scan and expand your field of vision beyond the road into the surrounding countryside;

●  If required, always wear your driving glasses;

●  Use a vehicle with the best available head-lamps (perhaps with "after-market" driving lights fitted); and

●  Ensure head lamps are working and the lenses are clean before each use.

In the event that a collision with a deer is unavoidable, make sure you use the following controls:

●  Always ensure you're wearing your seatbelt (vehicle passengers should also be belted-up);

●  Apply maximum possible braking force but without locking the wheels or skidding.  ABS brakes will assist;

●  Continue to steer the vehicle to stay within your lane and without attempting to swerve to avoid the deer; and

●  Remember, it is usually much better (lower impact) to hit the deer that to crash into oncoming traffic, collide with trees or roll-over into a ditch!

Fix the Speed Limit Laws

Graham Marshall - Thursday, October 18, 2012

A study by Macquarie University shows that 70-80 per cent of drivers exceed the 40 KPH speed limits which have been arbitrarily instituted around schools with a view to saving lives.  And any law which is universally broken by the public needs to be reviewed.

But Lex Stewart, former head of road safety at the NSW RTA between 1990-1997 explains why the number of road deaths recorded around Australia have barely moved over the past decade despite of ever more draconian penalties and reduced speed limits being imposed on motorists.

The 40 KPH zones around schools are just one such example of a knee-jerk reaction to a a "non-problem" since there were never significant numbers of children injured or killed around schools in the first place.

Furthermore, Mr Stewart argued that the "unusual obsession" of Australian traffic authorities with speeding, has led to funds being diverted away from better campaign targets such as drink driving and driving without seatbelts.  This is despite any evidence showing that speeding is the Number one road safety problem, has is frequently claimed by politicians and the road safety lobby. 

The "official statistic" that speeding is involved in 40 per cent of accidents is, according to Mr Stewart, simply a guess - and a guess based on insufficient scientific evidence, flawed data and inadequate police accident reports.  But the data recorded from autopsies shows for sure that alcohol is involved in 21 per cent of road deaths and that failure to wear a seatbelt is associated with 12 per cent of deaths.

Mr Stewart discussed how speed camera's are purely punitive and play no educative role; and he suggests that at least 90 per cent of camera's be removed and the money used elsewhere such as roving highway patrols and more school crossing supervisors who can actually talk to children and educate them on road safety matters.



Gas Storage Cabinets for Vehicles

Graham Marshall - Monday, October 15, 2012

Further to my recent posting about the danger associated with carrying gas cylinders inside vehicles, I have recently come across a company in Melbourne that manufactures high quality gas storage cabinets for inside vehicles and vans.

According to the manufacturer, (Jonda), the cabinets comply to all Australian standards and include a bracket system to hold them safe and a 50mm flange included to vent outside the vehicle.

Please call 03 9457 1280 for further information.


Police Blitz on WA Truckies

Graham Marshall - Saturday, September 08, 2012

As part of a traffic "blitz" in the SW corner of WA, the Traffic Police recently pulled over 200 heavy goods vehicles in random stops.

The blitz on trucks resulted in 85 work orders for safety defects being issued.

The defects included faulty seat-belts, bald tyres and cracked windscreens.

Most were said by police to be a result of trucking companies scrimping on preventative maintenance.

The breaches of safety are also putting the public’s safety at risk.

If trucks that are 25 or 30 tonnes have bald tyres, suspension that’s not working, brakes that aren’t operating correctly, seatbelts that aren’t working properly, it can be very dangerous to the motorists who have to drive on the same road as them.

The safety blitz on truckers comes after a truck driver was jailed for five years for causing a crash in February 2011 that killed two men on Old Coast Road near Mandurah.

Companies are reminded to ensure their vehicles are regularly inspected, maintained to safe standards and to actively consult with workers on vehicle safety as part of their safe systems of work.

Ogling Good Looking Females Causes Male Drivers to Crash

Graham Marshall - Friday, September 07, 2012

Statistics released in the UK by the insurance company Direct Line demonstrate that distracted drivers cause around 2,525 crashes each day.  That's nearly 930,000 crashes every year.

Researchers have noticed that drivers tend to crash more often in the summer when men and women are wearing less clothing.

The survey of drivers found 60 per cent of men were distracted by attractive women while 12 per cent of women said they took their eyes off the road to leer at good looking men.

And 21 per cent of drivers also admitted that advertising billboards featuring pictures of attractive or scantily-clad models were also a major distraction on the road.

Insurance company Direct Line discovered 17 per cent of male drivers admitted knowing their actions were dangerous.

This type of distraction is clearly a major contributing factor in road accidents.

Between 2008 and 2009, almost 1 million drivers across Britain admitted that being distracted by a member of the opposite sex was a contributing factor in a vehicle crash.

Dangerous Distractions When Driving

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

There are many different distractions when driving.  The obvious ones are talking on the mobile, texting, fiddling with the radio or trying to read a map or GPS screen.

This safety alert from Origin Energy in Australia highlights the potential trigger associated with eating when attempting to control the kinetic energy associated with motor-vehicle use.

It contains some good information on road safety practices to be adopted.

Australian workplace deaths in first quarter 2012

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

There were 26 work-related notifiable fatalities reported across Australia during March 2012 - bringing the total workplace deaths to 58 for the first quarter of the year.

Twenty-three of the total deaths in March were men and three were women.

Of the 26 fatalities, 9 were categorized as a vehicle incidents on public roads and two more were due to vehicle incidents but occurring on private roads.

Five fatalities resulted from being struck by a falling object.

Four deaths were the result of a fall from a height.

Two deaths were recorded as being due to electrocution.

The remaining 4 fatalities involved the an explosion, being struck by a moving object (other than a vehicle), being struck by an animal, and one case of assault.

Eight fatalities occurred at Construction workplaces.

Six of the total occurred at transport or storage workplaces.

Four death occurred at agriculture, forestry or fishing workplaces.

Three deaths occurred at personal services workplaces.

One fatality each occurred at a property or business services location, one at a retailer, one at a wholesaler trade, and one in a place of education.

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