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.


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. 

WA DMP targets Fireworks and Other Dangerous Goods

Graham Marshall - Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Department of Mines and Petroleum has announced plans to target the transportation of fireworks and other dangerous goods. 

Since January 2011, 56 people have been charged for possessing or setting off fireworks in WA. 

“Fireworks are very dangerous, and must be transported safely and securely,” DMP principal dangerous goods officer Peter Xanthis said. 

“They can explode easily from sparks, friction, high temperatures or cigarettes, which can be fatal. 

“If you have fireworks or know a friend who does, don’t touch them - call the Police to remove them. 

“Don’t put the fireworks in the rubbish bin, as this puts council workers at risk.” 

DMP has also been working closely with WA Police to target heavy goods vehicles in the Wheatbelt. 

Police issued a number of infringements earlier this year to truck drivers who were carrying dangerous goods in an unsafe way. 

In one case, a driver is alleged to have been transporting over 450 litres of highly toxic chlorine gas, but was not displaying the required dangerous goods signage.

“It’s important for drivers to always adhere to such rules, as they are necessary for an effective emergency response in the event of a dangerous goods leak or spill,” Xanthis said. 

“Gasoline and petrol ignites very easily and most drivers don’t understand the risks associated,” Xanthis said. “The vapours can catch fire from static electricity or cigarettes.

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.

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.

Two Darwin Businesses in Court over Gas-bottle Explosions

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Darwin company has been charged over the gas bottle explosion that killed Patrick "Paddy" Bird more than a year ago.

Mr Bird, 24, was killed when pressurized flammable gas cylinders left in his enclosed work van exploded outside his Parap home on December 16, 2011.

The ignition spark came from the remote central locking device on his car key as he opened the van door.

As a results, Damday Pty Ltd could now be fined up to $650,000 if the NT Work Health Authority can successfully secure a conviction.

Representatives of Damday appeared in Darwin Magistrates Court on Monday charged with failing to identify risks to health or safety arising from their own conduct.

The charges were laid under the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Act.

Another Darwin company, Arafura Plumbing, has also been charged over a similar incident that occurred in July 2012.

Arafura Plumbing has been charged with reckless conduct that risked death or injury and failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

It could now be fined up to $3 million.

The authority laid the charges under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011.

In a statement, the authority said it would allege the practice of allowing pressurized flammable gas to be left in enclosed vehicles was considered a "hazard" to the health and safety of workers and members of the public due to the risk of an explosion.

The authority has to prove that Arafura Plumbing engaged in conduct "without reasonable excuse" to secure a conviction.

Both companies will re-appear in court next month.

Vehicle Roll Over in Queensland

Graham Marshall - Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Safety Alert shown below highlights the dangers of pulling onto the soft shoulder of narrow rural  bitumen roads when allowing larger vehicles to pass.

In the recent incident in Queensland, two workers narrowly avoided serious injury or a fatality when they lost control of a vehicle, resulting in a high speed roll over.

The vehicle had been driven off the road to accommodate an oncoming truck on a narrow regional road.

The driver lost control of the vehicle on the unsealed road whilst attempting to return to the bitumen.

The Safety Alert illustrates a number of key learning points which are worth sharing with drivers exposed to rural road conditions.

Vehicle Roll-overs are a Common Problem

Graham Marshall - Monday, December 24, 2012

This Safety Alert from APPEA demonstrates how easy it is to lose control of a vehicle when driving on oil-field roads.

It's been our experience that oil-field roads all over the world pose particular threats to drivers; whether it be from high-traffic volumes, the movement of large vehicles, use of roads by non-oilfield traffic, broken pavement, narrow roads, blown sand, blown snow, or other problematic weather factors like ice, fog or rain.

In all cases, the key to oil-field driving is to slow down, take your time, and plan ahead.

After all, it doesn't matter how quickly you get there, what matters is how quickly you stop at the end.


Lucky escape for Bakken driver

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The driver of this vehicle in the North Dakota oil patch near Keene had very lucky escape when he decided to make a turn in front of an oncoming 18-wheeler!

Please think about your driving each day and get in the habit of practicing your "defensive  driving skills".

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